At the Federal Executive Council meeting this week, the FG resolved to replace Black Maria vehicles for the conveyance of prisoners with Green Maria.
Speaking to journalists in the State House after the weekly FEC meeting, Interior Minister, Abdulraman Danbazzau, said the council approved his memorandum to henceforth purchase Green Maria as against Black Maria.
He said the decision was meant to reflect the fresh initiative not to see prisons as places of vengeance and punishment but rehabilitation centres. Dambazzau said FEC approved N1.5billion for the purchase of 116 Green Maria vehicles, adding that buying such a large number of vehicles had become necessary in view of the shortage of vehicles for prison operations at the moment.
“The third aspect is the Nigerian Prisons. That also has to do with procurement of operational and Green Maria vehicles not Black Maria. We just changed the name to reflect the current thinking on rehabilitation and treatment of inmates.
We are procuring 116 vehicles…which will cost N1, 584, 64,560. Because of lack of logistics, the vehicles that have contributed in the past are still not enough to take inmates and those awaiting trials to court,” he said.
The minister also said the council approved N3.952 billion for the procurement of fire-fighting trucks. According to him, when this administration came on board in 2015, there was only one rickety fire-fighting truck in Abuja.
“So we embarked, as part of the security sector reform efforts, to reduce the loss and also curtail the incidence of fire. We embarked on the procurement of fire-fighting trucks, water tankers among others,” he added