The House of Representatives has directed the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCS) to take urgent steps to protect inmates at the various correctional centres around the country from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Chairman, House Committee on Reformatory Institutions, Anayo Edwin, in a statement said it is imperative for the government to ensure that those in confinement are protected from the virus at this critical time.

Edwin admonished the NCS to immediately put in place measures to safeguard inmates and staff of the correctional services from contracting the virus, as well as put in place facilities to care for them in case of any eventuality.

The lawmaker noted that the House received with dismay the news about the collapse of a wall in the Warri Correctional Centre, where the roof of one of the buildings was also blown off after a recent downpour.

The committee chairman directed the authorities of the correctional services to take immediate steps and provide succour for the inmates.

According to him, “the facilities at the correctional centres are dilapidated and overstretched and there is need for the government to take steps to address the issue of decayed infrastructure.

“The House is saddened with the state of affairs at the Warri Correctional Centre, where the roof was blown off by recent rainfall thereby exposing the inmates to very harsh weather conditions.

“The House is, hereby, directing the Service to take urgent steps to improve things at the Warri Correctional Centre and other centres nationwide, ahead of the rainy (season), so as to protect inmates from harsh weather conditions,” the lawmaker said.

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