New reports has it that Prisons inmates across the country may be thrown into hunger from December if urgent steps are not taken to settle the outstanding bills of food contractors.
The contractors, under the aegis of Nigeria Prison Service Ration and Gas Contractors, have already made their intention to stop supplying food and gas to prisons from December known in a letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari.
A copy of the letter, dated November 13 and sighted by our correspondent on Sunday, was jointly signed by the association’s President, Chief S. K. Sanni; National Secretary, Mr. Eugene Agro; and the National Vice President (North West), Alhaji Ibrahim A. Asarakawa.
The Minister of Interior and the Comptroller-General of Prisons, among other top government officials, were copied. The contractors informed Buhari that the Federal Government’s indebtedness to them currently stands at N6bn.
They said with the outstanding bill, they no longer have the financial capacity to source for food and gas with which they could supply the prisons. They therefore appealed to the President and the minister in charge of prisons to intervene in the matter by ensuring that the backlog is cleared.
They made it clear that if the debt was not paid by the end of this month, they might not be able to supply food items and gas in December, as they have exhausted not only their financial resources but also the sources where they have been getting the money to do business.
The contractors stated that they have not been paid for the supply of food items and gas to the prisons since January this year. The situation, they added, forced them to resort to taking bank loans with all the accumulative interests, even as some of them sold their houses and other properties in order to meet up.