Why we built hotel —Prison service

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The Nigerian Correctional Service has explained the rationale behind its building of a hotel.

The viral picture of the hotel located located along Bill Clinton Drive Airport Road, Abuja had sparked varied reactions and comparison with the infamous prisons across the country.

The Public Relations Officer, Assistant Controller of Corrections, Umar Abubakar, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja that the hotel was an investment of the NCoS Cooperative Society.

Abubakar, who reacted to the issues raised about the facility, said that the hotel, shared on the service’s official Facebook page, was strictly about staff welfare.

Nigerians have been drawing comparisons between the Nigerian Correctional Service Hotel and the nation’s infamous correctional facilities.

Currently, many correctional facilities are reported to have fallen short of the best standard.

Abubakar emphasised that it was a product of strategic thinking and efficiency on the part of the agency‘s cooperative unit.

Abubakar, who wondered why some people would discourage meaningful investments, said that the “COCOS Hotels and Gardens” was inaugurated on March 1, 2021, by the former Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the said hotel was built in the year 2021 and it’s exclusively owned by the Correctional Cooperative Society.

“The Cooperative Society was established for all personnel of the Service and was formed in the year 1996.

“The said hotel has been open for business since its establishment in 2021 and is located along Bill Clinton Drive Airport Road, Abuja.

“In terms of funding and day-to-day administration, the hotel is owned by COCOS and managed as a corporate entity,” he said.

Abubakar said that the Cooperative Society also operated a Microfinance Bank that provided financial support to both serving and retired personnel.

He said that it was to improve the welfare of staff through the provision of soft loans and other financial services.

He also said that the Cooperative Society had served as a fallback welfare system for retired and deceased personnel, adding that those dismissed from service get back their due entitlements upon disengagement.

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“Presently, all such payments of entitlements to beneficiaries are up-to-date.

“The Cooperative Society has acquired housing estates, providing personnel, serving and retired, the opportunity to own personal houses without hassles.

“The hotel has so far provided employment opportunities for many youths, and attracted commendations from dignitaries both within and outside,“ the spokesman said.

The SPRO enjoined the public to patronise the hotel as it provided excellent services at competitive prices.

He also urged news reporters to confirm the sources of their information regarding the NCoS via the PRO as well as other official channels before publication.

NAN

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