The Federal Government has hinted of efforts to transfer Nigerian prisoners in China to serve their prison term in Nigeria via prison swap deal.
About 535 Nigerians are at present in Chinese prisons for various crimes, which include drug related offenses.
At a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, said that efforts were underway to bring them to serve their prison terms in the country.
He said, “Nigerians in prison in China is what we are dealing with right now. We are working on prisoner exchange system. It is a system we have to plan to have an agreement with China. The prisoners I think who are facing capital punishment on death row. We will reach out to the government, commit the death sentences and those that are there we are making an effort to get them back home to serve their sentences.
“Prison exchange is a special agreement with China but we are working to have one in place. We have taken that on board and we are trying to see what we can do to have such a transfer arrangement and to get our prisoners back,” he said.
He said: “There is also a mechanism for prisoners’ transfer for those that would serve their prison terms in Nigeria because some of them want to serve their prison term in Nigeria but yesterday, the Minister of Interior presented during executive council a memo on reforming the whole prison system in Nigeria and he feels somehow on Nigerian prison.
He also narrated that a Nigerian who has served in Chinese prison wrote a book on his experiences offered to train Nigerians in prison.
Also yesterday, Onyeama said that five missions will be shut subject to the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said, “We do not want to indicate the embassies that will be closed yet because we are in the process of submitting the proposals, the cost analysis and also the political analysis we did to the president.
“When he sees that, he may or may not want to close some, so we have not yet reached the stage of closing some”, he said.