FG commences payment of N585 million fine for release of 4,000 inmates nationwide

FG commences payment of N585 million fine for release of 4,000 inmates nationwide

The federal government, through the Ministry of Interior, has begun the payment of N585 million in fines for inmates in correctional centres across Nigeria as part of moves to decongest the prisons.

The initiative took off in Abuja on Saturday with the minister, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, convening the launch at the medium-security prison, Kuje. 

He also announced that the beneficiaries will receive stipends to give them a head-start as they try to integrate into their communities.

“All inmates in custodial centres who have fines or compensation not exceeding N1 million are qualified and will benefit from this gesture,” said Mr Tunji-Ojo. “In addition, we are also providing each of them a stipend to enable them to stand in their community.”

This is the first step towards addressing the issue of congested correctional facilities under President Bola Tinubu’s administration, and it is expected to cover an estimated 4068 inmates languishing in prison because of their inability to pay fines of less than N1 million.

Additionally, the minister highlighted that the financial support for the programme did not come from government coffers. He said instead, it was pulled together through a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, drawing contributions from private sector entities and philanthropists nationwide.

“Most of the inmates are indigents who cannot afford to pay their fine languishing in custody. The total fund of N585 million was raised by corporate bodies as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)  for this purpose,” he said.

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