Federal Gov’t Mulls Relocation Of Ikoyi Prison, Others Over Urbanisation Risks

Federal Gov't Mulls Relocation Of Ikoyi Prison, Others Over Urbanisation Risks

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In a bid to address the challenges posed by rapid urbanisation and its security implications for custodial centres, the Federal Government is considering relocating several correctional facilities, including the iconic Ikoyi Prison in Lagos, from urban centers across the nation.

The move comes as a response to concerns raised by the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, who highlighted the encroachment of urbanisation on the required setbacks around correctional centers, for safety and security reasons.

During an appearance on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme, Tunji-Ojo underscored the urgency of modernising Nigeria’s correctional infrastructure. He pointed to the antiquated state of many facilities, including the Suleja correctional center in Niger State, which was built over a century ago in 1914. The minister emphasized that President Tinubu inherited 256 correctional centers in dire need of attention and renovation.

Tunji-Ojo drew attention to the alarming proximity of correctional facilities to residential areas, citing the example of the Ikoyi Correctional Center in Lagos’ upscale Ikoyi area. He questioned the wisdom of housing a prison in such prime real estate and stressed the need for potential relocation to ensure compliance with safety regulations and mitigate the risks associated with urbanisation.

“We’ve renovated over 10 correctional centers under this administration,” Tunji-Ojo affirmed, highlighting the government’s commitment to enhancing the efficiency and security of correctional facilities. He specifically commended the transformation of the Kuje correctional center in Abuja as a testament to the government’s efforts in this regard.

The minister outlined the government’s plan to conduct an “inmate audit” across all 256 correctional centers nationwide to enhance rehabilitation efforts.

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