The Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) is a government agency of Nigeria, which operates prisons. The headquarters is located in Abuja, and it is under the supervision of the Ministry of Interior.
As of 2014, it had 240 prisons. While 155 are prisons for convicts, the remaining 83 are satellite facilities. The prisons include the following:
- Adamawa State: Yola Prison
- Ebonyi State: Abakiliki Prison
- Federal Capital Territory: Kuje Medium Prison
- Lagos State: Ikoyi Prison; Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison; Kirikiri Medium Security Prison and the Kirikiri Women’s Prison – it is the only women’s prison in Nigeria
- Yobe State: Gashua Maximum Prison
How Is the NPS Structured?
Generally, the structure of the Nigerian Prisons Service is divided into two: the administrative structure and the command structure.
Starting with the administrative structure, at the top of the Prison Service sits the Controller-General of the Nigerian Prisons Service. He is the Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for the formulations and implementation of prison policies in Nigeria.
He reports to the President through the Minister of Interior and the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board which the Minister heads. But in matters of prison policy, he takes direct responsibility for policy implementation.
He has six (6) Deputy Controllers-General (DCGs), who head the six broad administrative divisions called Directorates into which the Service is broken for effective management.
The Deputy Controllers-General heads the Directorates report to the Controller-General. The Directorates are specialized divisions, charged with the responsibility of coordinating specific areas of the prison administration.
Next is the command structure: The Nigerian Prisons Service operates a four-level Command. The top structure, which is the National Headquarters in Abuja, is divided into eight (8) zones with each zone having State Commands under it.
The Zones are headed by Assistant Controller-Generals of Prisons while the State Commands are headed by Controllers of Prisons. The prison is the last unit of the structure.
The Controller-General of Prisons
This rank was called the Director of Prisons, until it was renamed in 1992 into the Controller-General of Prisons since then. Each Controller-General of Prisons serves as the Chief Executive Officer. The rank’s main task is to ensure all the penal policies are currently formulated and correctly implemented into life in our country.
The Deputy Controller-General
This is the second-highest rank of the Nigerian Prisons Service. This position is called DCG, and there are currently 6 people who serve as DCG in the organization. Each one is leading one of the six administrative divisions of NPS. They include the Operations, Administration and Supplies, Health and Social Welfare, Finance and Budget, Inmates’ Training and Productivity and Works and Logistics.
The Assistant Controller-General of Prisons
Next in Nigerian Prison Service rank structure is the Assistant Controller-General of Prisons. They are leading the ‘zones.’ The whole organization consists of 8 zones in which Nigeria is divided into.
The Controller of Prisons
Every territory is in the 8 zones and has control of different states under it. Each of such states is led by the next rank in the structure – the Controller of Prisons.
Every prison in Nigeria has its Prison Warden. It is the superintendent of the correctional facility; the official rank is known as Superintendent of Prisons (SP). Each SP is in charge of the whole prison facility, supervises every operation within the facility, takes care of the security, makes sure the inmates are taken care of, etc.
The Rest of the Nigeria Prison Service
The rank structure besides the Prison Warden, every prison has other ranks, including:
- Deputy Superintendent of Prisons (shortly called DSP)
- Assistant Superintendent of Prisons I (the official abbreviation is ASP.I)
- Assistant Superintendent of Prisons II (the official abbreviation is ASP.II)
- Senior Inspector of Prisons (the quick name of this rank is SIP)
- Inspector of Prisons (the simple abbreviation is IP)
- Assistant Inspector of Prisons (the quick rank abbreviation is AIP)
- Prisons Assistant I (shortly this rank is called PAI)
- Prisons Assistant II (the rank’s simple abbreviation is PAII)
- Prisons Assistant III (it is abbreviated as PAIII).
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The NPS members of staff (cooks, doctors, officers, janitors, etc.) are treated as paramilitary staff. Thus, the ranks of Nigerian Prisons Service are paid according to the Consolidated Paramilitary Salary Structure (CONPASS).
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