By INNOCENT ODOH, Abuja
The United States government will provide a grant worth $3.9 million to train officials of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) in the use of the Correctional Information Management Systems (CIMS), new equipment donated by the US Embassy in Abuja.
According to a statement issued yesterday by the Public Affairs Section of the Embassy, the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Office of the United States Embassy in Abuja donated the equipment to support the Correctional Information Management Systems of the Nigeria Correctional Service.
The Acting Controller General of Nigeria Correctional Services, John Mmrabure, received the equipment presented by the US Ambassador to Nigeria Mary Beth Leonard.
The equipment donated includes satellite broadband VSAT dishes, desktop computers, printers, internet routers, servers, and furniture. The new equipment will enable the NCS to capture inmates’ biographical data at correctional facilities, thereby facilitating legal assistance and family contact.
Noting that the equipment donation was the first step in this partnership, Ambassador Leonard stated, “We are proud to partner with the Nigeria Correctional Service to incorporate information technology into the management practices which will address prolonged pre-trial detention in pursuit of the Nigerian government’s efforts to apply and enforce the rule of law and respect for human rights. These are tenets of a strong democracy and I am proud that the United States stands as your partner.”
“Better information management will provide inmates in pre-trial detention improved access to lawyers, who will now be able to track detainees’ location easily. The programme will work closely with Law Clinics in Nigerian Universities to provide pro-bono service to inmates awaiting trial,” the statement said.
The support to the NCS, which began in 2017 with a pilot program at Kuje Prison, has evolved into the CIMS. This donation will equip CIMS in three locations in Nasarawa State, specifically Keffi New, Keffi Old, and Lafia Custodial Centers.