LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will construct a brand new wing at Kirikiri Prison within the Nigerian metropolis of Lagos in order that it could possibly switch Nigerian prisoners there, the government in London has introduced.
The new 112-bed wing, which can value 700,000 kilos and be compliant with United Nations requirements, will make it simpler for Britain to adjust to a prisoner switch settlement it signed with Nigeria in 2014.
Under that deal, eligible prisoners serving felony sentences in Nigeria and Britain will be returned to finish their sentences of their respective international locations. The British government didn’t point out what number of prisoners may be moved or when the challenge is prone to be accomplished.
Nigerian prisons — a lot of them constructed by British colonisers greater than 100 years in the past — are severely overcrowded, resulting in the unfold of ailments. The government in Abuja has mentioned it’s creating a technique to sort out the difficulty.
Britain’s personal jail system has been exhibiting indicators of extreme pressure lately, with overcrowding, rising suicide charges and a rising drawback with drug trafficking and different crimes inside jails that have been generally constructed within the Victorian period.
Kirikiri is just not one of many oldest prisons in Nigeria however it does date again to colonial occasions.
Last month, the government mentioned the jail within the southern metropolis of Port Harcourt, which was initially designed to carry 800 prisoners, at present has almost 5,000. It mentioned three,700 of them had been awaiting trial for greater than 5 years.
In a written assertion to parliament, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson mentioned tenders had been positioned and a provider recognized to conduct the constructing work at Kirikiri. He didn’t title the provider.
The challenge can be funded from Britain’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, which has an annual funds of greater than 1 billion kilos and goals to fee initiatives that may assist stop conflicts and stabilise international locations or areas.
Reporting by Estelle Shirbon in London and Alexis Akwagyiram in Lagos; Editing by Catherine Evans