Port Harcourt Custodial Centre begins production of organic fertiliser

The Controller General of Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa, has expressed satisfaction with the quality of granulated organic fertilisers produced at the biofertiliser factory in the Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Port-Harcourt, Rivers.

The commendation comes after construction of the factory within six months of signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with Biofil Technology Nigeria Ltd.

Nababa gave the commendation during a working visit to the Biofertiliser factory at the Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Port-Harcourt, a statement by SC Juliet Ofoni , Command Public Relation Officer,Rivers, said on Wednesday.

The visit was to inspect and evaluate the biofertiliser factory and to collect samples for test in as many Correctional Farm Centres as possible.

It was also to procure same as off-takers for use in farms such as Elele Correction Farm Centre, Port-Harcourt.

The Controller General of Corrections (CGC) was represented by Deputy Controller General of Corrections, in the Inmates Training and Productivity (ITP) Directorate, Sylvester Nwakuche.

He expressed satisfaction with the quality of granulated organic fertiliser produced after construction of the factory within 6 months of signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with Biofil Technology Nigeria Ltd.

He called on investors to exploit the Public Private Partnership (PPP) window to maximise profit margins by investing on agro – allied ventures in the Nigerian Correctional Service.

He further urged the Biofil Technology to ensure that the best was utilised of the five-year test run tenure given in the MOU, noting that the packaging should carry the NCoS symbol to amplify the essence of partnership involved.

Earlier, the Controller of Corrections, in charge of Rivers State Command, Felix Lawrence, welcomed the CGC and his entourage to the state.

He appreciated the CGC for approving the construction of the renewable energy system in the centre.

According to him, the area was messed with rodents and waste litters, but is now a clean and safe working environment because of the value-added processing of biogas and biofertiliser from inmates’ humongous waste matters.

He also congratulated the untiring supervising officers and men of the state command assigned to the factory for avoiding ineptitude and redundancy leading to the marked success of the production in the factory.

Contributing, CC Raymond Jatau, stated that similar projects were being approved by the CGC across the country for improvement of sanitation, hygiene and enhancement of inmates training and rehabilitation

According to him, the sustainability of the project is the main purpose of the visit of the CGC through the high-power delegation to the site.

He stated that the Nigerian Correctional Officers Wives Association (NICOWA) would be involved in the distribution of the product once the Service procure the quantity its budget could accommodate.

In his brief, the Director of Biofil Technology Nigeria Ltd., Mr Ibikun Taiwo, appreciated the visit and stated that the MoU ab initio indicated that NCoS would be the sole off-taker.

He said they would buy the produce at a reduced price to preserve land from further degradation suffered due to use of inorganic fertilisers.

He promised that for now, 20 inmates would be trained on how to produce biofertilisers within six, to prepare them for re-integration.

On the benefits of the biofertiliser, he said: “ The bio-fertiliser option for NCoS has enormous advantages.

“They include the treatment of waste matter generated in custodial centres and the involvement of retirees in the business of biofertiliser sales.

“The bio fertilisers are purely organic and are safe to be used in all types of farms across the country for production of Organic Foods for healthy living.’’

According to him, the sewage is the main raw material for the adoption of a climate smart agricultural practice in the Correctional Service.

In an interview with the fact finding committee, an inmate in the production line confirmed that production capacity was about 500 bags of 50kg per day using a staff strength of 20 with 15 Inmates and five instructors working for less than six hours daily.

He said that higher production volume would have been achieved if three shifts were possible on site.

The site supervisor, SC O Clifford said: “Inmates undergo formal training daily by working in the factory to enable them re- integrate properly into the society after they regain their freedom.

“ MoU is designed to enable inmates earn daily, which would be a source for support for their families and dependents outside the Custodial Centres.

“Efforts are on top gear to certificate qualified inmates to work with BTNL fertiliser firms when they eventually get discharged out of custody.

“Furthermore, records show that the Nigerian Correctional Service commissioned the public – private partnership in Biogas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas operated kitchen at the Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Port-Harcourt in November 2020.

“And today it has graduated to the level of production of Bio- Fertilizers and gas for renewable energy option of the smart agric technology.

The statement said that those who were present at inspection visit included Assistant Controller General CN Ogwude, incharge of Agriculture and Controller of Corrections, DA Kupan incharge of Planning, Research and Statistics.

Also, the Controller of Corrections, RY Jatau from Works and Logistics and Deputy Controller of Corrections, KN Abubakar from Procurement unit.

The Incharge Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Port-Harcourt, Deputy Controller of Corrections, EO Etim gave the vote of thanks and wished the committee safe trip back to Abuja.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria