FG mandates correctional service officers carry high-capacity weapons
The Federal Government said it has trained 10,463 additional officers of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) to effectively and efficiently handle firearms to protect its facilities across the country.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola disclosed this during a State House Briefing with newsmen on Thursday.
The development followed the attack on the Kuje Medium Correctional Facility by terrorists on July 2022, as well as other jailbreaks recorded in Lagos, Imo, Jos, and Edo States among others.
“We are mandating officers in charge of our facilities not just to carry pistols but high-capacity weapons. Before now, officers were just officers, if they hear a gunshot they would dive under their beds, but since the Kuje attack, we have changed that.
“They are now trained progressively to boldly confront themselves, and lead the action of repelling whoever attempts to violate our facilities and we have declared the facility red zone,” he said.
Aregbesola who revealed ongoing achievements of the NCoS noted that the agency is building custodian facilities in the six geopolitical zones of the country with the one situated in Janguza, Kano State about 90 percent completed.
“The 3000 inmates capacity ultra-modern custodian is an innovation that is almost parallel, it is a custodian village. One of the highlights of that facility is that you don’t use firewood but the excretes of the inmate to produce biogas to cook their food among others,” he noted.
According to him, the NCoS purchased 799 vehicles to move inmates to and from courts and other operations including ambulances and vehicles for farm inspections.
The minister added that 420 inmates ran various degrees and postgraduate degrees programs; 100 inmates enrolled for WAEC and NECO while the Service recruited 7,745 officers since 2015 to date.
“We will still recruit more to protect our services, we are already asking for approval to recruit 5,000 men to the Arms squad of the service and 2,000 into its intelligence unit,” he said.
Recall that over 200 terrorists invaded the Kuje Correctional Service and freed Boko Haram inmates. Other inmates were said to have escaped during the attack.