Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, said on Friday that the least daily upkeep spent on a prisoner in United States was N31,000.
He said the amount was higher than the N30,000 which the Federal Government recently approved as monthly minimum wage for its workers.
He said his ministry, considering the dwindling resources available to the country, had proposed N730 for the daily upkeep of its prisoners in 2020.
Aregbesola made the comparison while responding to questions from members of Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on Interior during 2020 budget defence session of the ministry.
He said the daily upkeep of a prison inmate in some states in America could be as high as N60,000 per day.
He said, “The American government budget for correctional service is about $81bn in 2018.
“Each prisoner enjoys daily upkeep facility of an equivalent of between N31,000 and N61,000.”
He explained that Nigeria is smaller in size compared to that of America which made the daily upkeep on a prisoner there higher than what was projected in the 2020 budget.
He said, “The daily upkeep of an American prisoner is also higher than the N30,000 national minimum wage recently approved for the Nigerian workers.
“At the Federal Executive Council level when the budget being defended now was to be planned by way of inputs from various ministers, I kept quiet after listening to Minister of Finance on the challenges and constraints facing the nation’s economy.
“One of such challenges is the paucity of funds which has made Ministry of Interior unable to pay for forty fire trucks manufactured for the country by Turkey since 18 months ago,” he said.