Federal Government has digitalised inmate’s registration, legal representation and processing to enhance data management in the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS).
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola said this at the launch of Corrections Information Management System (CIMS) Training Manual and the Welfare/Legal Aid and Statistics Module on Tuesday in Abuja.
Aregbesola said that the two publications were in line with the present Administration’s adherence to the rule of law, respect for human rights and duty of care for victims through a systemic approach.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government launched the Prisons Information Management System (PIMS) as it was then called in January 2018 and a remand Indicator which was a major component of CIMS was also launched in January 2019.
Aregbesola said that the Indicator was for the reporting of the length of trial and activities of all the actors in the Administration of Criminal Justice as it relates to inmates’ trial.
“I wish to specifically state that the present Administration under the able leadership of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari is truly aware of the fact that the world today is driven by technology.
“Hence, the Administration is putting modalities in motion for the digitization of government transactions,” he said.
Aregbesola added that it was in tandem with Government’s desire to make information and activities on the Federal Public Service readily available through information technology.
“It is therefore Government’s expectation that CIMS Training Manual will provide a practical guide to personnel on the process of inputting data manually into the System.
“While the Welfare/Legal Aid and Statistics Module will automate the process of recording data on inmates’ legal representation and increase monthly reporting capabilities.
“This will thereby enhance the capacity of the NCoS and other related agencies in implementing the critical elements and provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.
“Essentially, the overall objective of the CIMS is to serve as a backbone for the country’s National Criminal Database especially when fully integrated into the Database of other Security agencies for proper synergy, ” he said.
The Controller General, NCoS , Ja’afaru Ahmed said that the introduction of Welfare/Legal Aid and Statistics Module was to support the already existing Remand Indicator module.
Ahmed said that the registration of inmates by the NCoS over the years had always been done manually, adding that the method was also fraught with errors.
He said that it was therefore against this backdrop that CIMS was conceptualised as a means of keying into the digitisation programme of the current administration.
He noted that relevant data of the inmates that escaped from the Medium Security Custodial Centres in Edo and Delta States due to the invasion and attacks of the facilities by hoodlums a few weeks ago were being retrieved.
According to him, the idea behind the introduction of CIMS is gradually being realised by government.
“The journey to where we are today actually began several years ago when the idea of inmates’ biometric was birthed.
” The idea did not however transform to reality due to lack of funding support until the year 2016 when the present Administration graciously appropriated funds for ‘Inmates’ Biometrics’.
“The project was further boosted by the funding support from some Non-Governmental Organisations and Development Partners, most of them are represented here today.
“I wish to report that the NCoS has successfully deployed CIMS to well over 86 facilities across the country so far. The second tranche of deployment to cover the remaining facilities shall soon commence in earnest, ” he said.