The decision of the Minister of Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau to change the uniform of officers and men of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) is not going down well with personnel in the service.
The current prisons uniform is light-green and entry-level officers are often made to part with N6, 000 to procure them before the end of their stay at the training schools.
Gen. Dambazau had at a recent meeting with the management team of the service announced his resolve to change the fatigues of its personnel in an effort to boost their morale.
But Vanguard reports that many junior-level officers who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity described the move as providing an official leeway for extortion.
They opined that rather than change the uniforms, the new minister should endeavour to change the fortunes of both the service and its personnel.
According to them, aside the issue of stagnation in rank, there is the vexed issue of lack of logistics for effective execution of their mandate.
The newspaper quoted one of the officers as saying:
“The service now has only about 18 functional Black Marias. We still have prisons built with mud. We lack escort vehicles. Many of us have stagnated on one rank for years. These are issues that should be addressed and not a change of uniform which is at best, merely cosmetic”.
Another officer said that except the uniforms would be given to them free, many state controllers are likely to put their own price tag different from the official price.
“I can bet that even when they are asked to give us the uniforms for free, there are those who would still place their own monetary demands on top and tell you it is for logistics”.