It was gathered that the National Economic Council (NEC) has granted approval to state governors to rehabilitate prisons in their states.
The Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, who was supported by his counterpart in Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwambo, disclosed this to State House correspondents yesterday.
He said the decision was taken after a meeting presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja.
This followed the briefing by the Minister of Interior, General Abdulraman Danzabau (rtd), on the poor condition of prisons in the country.
Umahi explained that the members unanimously agreed on the need to decongest prisons and improve the living condition of the inmates.
He said the council further urged the private and the public sectors to collaborate for more effective and humane prison services.
According to him, state governors were also advised to visit the prisons regularly to determine those inmates who were supposed to be out of prison.
He said: “States that have the capacity to build prisons should go ahead and do so, including the involvement of private sector participation.
“The governors should do a number of things to decongest the prisons. The state chief judges should frequently visit prisons, while the governors should either sign death sentences of those condemned or reduce their sentences.”
According to him, about 70 per cent of inmates are awaiting trial, while some of them could be used for labour.
The council also resolved that, at least 0.5% to one per cent of monthly federation allocation to states should be set aside to finance the implementation of the HIV/AIDS programme.
Meanwhile, the NEC was yesterday also briefed on the balance in the Excess Crude Account, which presently stood at $2.3billion while the Stabilisation Development Fund was N28.5billion.