The National Youth Service Corps has complained that detainees at Nigerian Correctional Service institutions get better food than corps members.
Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, the Director-General of the NYSC, disclosed this during his appearance before the House Committee on Youth Development on Wednesday for budget defense, saying corps members were served a lunch costing N217, 000.
As a result, he encouraged the House of Representatives to increase the feeding budget allocation in the scheme’s budget for 2022.
On October 27, 2021, the Senate Committee on Interior enhanced the Nigerian Correctional Service’s daily meal allocation from N450 per person to a minimum of N1,000 per day.
Officials from the National Civil Service were at the Senate to defend the Service’s 2022 budget, which included a proposal to increase the daily feeding allowance to N750.
The committee, on the other hand, criticized the amount as terribly insufficient and promised to boost it in accordance with current economic realities, promising to evaluate inmates’ eating costs from N450 to N1000 per day.
In his presentation, Ibrahim, who noted that it was his first ritual of presentation of the budget to the committee, said the budget of the NYSC remained the same over the years.
The DG said, “The only thing that I will tell you here is that sometimes last year, I promised the committee at the NYSC, we are putting on our thinking cap, that I don’t want us to always go cap in hand begging for funds so that, at least, we should do something to bring revenue to the table. This I did last year and we generated over N280m which we paid into the Federation Account.
Ibrahim continued, “Our challenge is in the area of feeding. The budgetary approval for feeding per corps member is N650, which is grossly inadequate. By the time you divide it by three meals (per day), that is N216 per meal. So, we are appealing to this committee to please help us out.
“Even recently, at the Ministry of Interior, the feeding of prisoners was increased to N1,000. So, if we can feed criminals with N1,000, our graduates are putting their lives in the service of our country…I pray that this committee should please do something about it.”
The Chairman of the committee, Yemi Adaramodu, earlier in his opening remarks, noted that the NYSC had overhead costs as it was not a revenue-generating agency but one that manages people, especially young Nigerians.