Wednesday, October 16, 2013
UK to pay 1million pounds to transfer 534 Nigerian prisoners home
Hundreds of Nigerian criminals will be sent home to serve out prison sentences under a deal set to be struck by ministers within weeks, according to a report by UK Daily Mail
Talks are continuing into reaching a compulsory prisoner transfer agreement, which could see more than half of the 500 criminals from Nigeria currently in UK jails repatriated.
Prisons minister Jeremy Wright told MailOnline how 'more foreign prisoners must serve their sentences in their own countries'.
Ministers have been ordered to step up efforts to end the scandal of more than one in eight prisoners being from overseas. David Cameron vowed to end the practice of the British taxpayer picking up the bill for criminals with no business in the UK.
Doubt if Nigerians prisoners would want to come serve the rest of their terms in Kirikiri.
The Prime Minister said in 2010 that he would ’personally intervene’ to send more foreign criminals home.
Britain has even made clear it would pay to build new prisons in countries like Nigeria to speed up the process of sending foreign criminals home. Up to £1million has been promised to upgrade Nigerian jails, including a new wing at Kirikiri Prison in Lagos.
Securing an agreement with Nigeria would be seen as a much more significant breakthrough. Latest figures show there were 534 Nigerian nationals in British jails, 485 men and 49 women.
Nigerians account for one in 20 of all foreign prisoners, putting the country fifth in the league table of nations whose citizens have been jailed in the UK.
Justice Minister Mr Wright said: ‘I am clear that more foreign prisoners must serve their sentences in their own countries.
‘That is why we are currently working with the Nigerian Government on a compulsory prisoner transfer agreement to increase the number of prisoners who are transferred.
‘Legislation allowing Nigeria to enter such an arrangement was passed earlier this year by the Nigerian Parliament. We are now working with them on the text of a final agreement.’
Overflowing jails abroad have made it increasingly difficult to deport prisoners to their own country.
It is argued that by paying for building new jails or making existing ones more ‘comfortable’ so they approach British standards, will be repatriated.