- LIVE TV
NIGERIAN prisoners in Britain will be sent home to serve the remainder of their jail sentences under a deal agreed between the two countries.More than half of the 534 Nigerian nationals currently in UK jails could be deported under the new prisoner transfer agreement, which is currently being discussed.
A major stumbling block to deportation of foreign nationals in the past has been the condition of prisons in their own countries, but the UK has promised £1 million to Nigeria to help improve its jails.
Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright said: “I am clear that more foreign prisoners must serve their sentences in their own countries.
“That is why we are currently working with the Nigerian Government on a compulsory prisoner transfer agreement to increase the number of prisoners who are transferred.
“Legislation allowing Nigeria to enter such an arrangement was passed earlier this year by the Nigerian Parliament. We are now working with them on the text of a final agreement.”
There are currently 10,786 foreign prisoners in British jails, down just three per cent from the 11,135 incarcerated when David Cameron came to power more than three years ago.
The Prime Minster vowed in 2010 to “personally intervene” to send more foreign criminals home.
In April, he reaffirmed his commitment, and said: “When people are sent to prison in the UK we should do everything we can to make sure that if they’re foreign nationals, they are sent back to their country to serve their sentence in a foreign prison.
“And I’m taking action in Government to say look we have strong relationships with all of the countries where these people come from.
“Many are coming from Jamaica, many from Nigeria, many from other countries in Asia.
“We should be using all of the influence we have to sign prisoner transfer agreements with those countries. Even if necessary frankly helping them to build prisons in their own country so we can send the prisoners home.”
Polish nationals make up the highest foreign contingent in jails in England and Wales, with 829 currently behind bars.
Irish criminals are second with 769, and Jamaica is third with 759.
Romanians, Nigerians, Pakistanis, Indians, Lithuanians, Somalians and Vietnamese make up the rest of the top ten.