Only 20 prisons out of 47 additional facilities proposed 37 years ago were fully completed, according to a factsheet issued to newsmen by Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Actions (PRAWA). The sheet revealed that the Federal Government of Nigeria decided in 1980 to build the additional prisons across the nation to address infrastructure dilapidation, among others.
It said that when the decision was first taken, the Nigerian population was 73.7 million, adding that now that population is over 180 million people, the proposed prisons were not all completed. “Some of the completed prisons were without barracks and therefore cannot operate as prison,” the sheet said.
“Most of Nigerian prisons were built during the colonial era and Nigeria is still utilizing such prisons without or with little renovations. The dangers of continued usage of such prisons could be seen in the recent sewage collapse at Enugu prison which was built since 1915 for 638 inmates but now houses 1, 800 inmates.”