United Kingdom to build prison wing in Kirikiri

Nigeria Prisons Service Headquarters

Nigeria Prisons Service Headquarters

The UK and Nigeria signed a prisoner transfer agreement in 2014.

The UK government proposed to build a 112-bed wing to the United Nations specifications in the Kirikiri prison, Lagos, to house the prisoners from the UK.

Boris Johnson, UK's foreign secretary says sponsoring the prison will allow for some of the over 320 Nigerian inmates now serving time in the UK to complete their sentences in Nigeria-in line with a 2014 prisoner transfer agreement between both countries.

The announcement was made by foreign secretary Boris Johnson via written statement to parliament yesterday. The British government did not indicate how many prisoners might be moved or when the project is likely to be completed.

The project is funded by the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund Migration Returns Fund, which provides support to countries around the world that are vulnerable to conflict and instability.

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Nigerian prisons - many of them built by the British colonisers more than 100 years ago - are severely overcrowded, leading to the spread of diseases.

The total prison population at that time was 84 373 and it costs an average of around £35 000 a year to keep one person in prison.

Last month, the government said the prison in Port Harcourt, which was originally created to hold 800 prisoners, now has almost 5,000. The government said last month that the prison in the southern city of Port Harcourt had 5,000 inmates, despite having a capacity of less than 800.

In February, the Nigerian government said the prison in Port Harcourt now has almost 5,000, with about 3,700 of them had been awaiting trial for more than five years.

"We can improve the prisons service by improved funding that is one of our major constraints". The facilities that we have in Nigeria, majority are obsolete and overstretched because of the high population.

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