The United Kingdom on January 9, 2014, signed a Prisoner Transfer Agreement with Nigeria. As part of this agreement, prisoners serving criminal sentences in Nigeria and the UK can be returned to complete their sentences in their respective countries. In support of this, and as part of efforts to improve the capacity of the Nigerian Prison Service, the UK government has come up with plans to build a prison in Nigeria to enable it to transfer prisoners from Britain.
The 112-bed wing, which will be built to United Nations specifications in the Kiri Kiri prison in Lagos will cost under £700,000 ($971,005), a statement submitted to parliament by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Wednesday evening said.
“As part of this agreement, eligible prisoners serving criminal sentences in Nigeria and the UK can be returned to complete their sentences in their respective countries,” Mr Johnson was quoted by Sky News.
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He added that tenders for the proposed Nigerian jail had been placed and suppliers identified, with the total cost of the project amounting to £695,525. There will also be support, monitoring and evaluation, the statement added. The prison project will be paid for out of the government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund. The CSSF gives development and security support to countries which are at risk of conflict.
There were 320 Nigerian nationals in prisons in British jails at the end of 2016, figures from the Ministry of Justice states. This accounts for 3 percent of the foreign prisoner population.
The UK has made previous deals with some countries to transfer prisoners in UK jails to their countries of origin. These countries included Jamaica, Rwanda, Albania and Libya. The UK government in 2015 made plans to build a 1,500-bed prison in Jamaica in order to transfer some of the Jamaican prisoners but the Jamaican government rejected the deal, saying that it does not benefit the country in any way.