London- The number of Nigerians serving various jail terms in the UK has significantly dropped from some 900 to 540, Dr Dalhatu Tafida, the Nigerian High Commissioner to that country has said.
Tafida who spoke against the backdrop of the Nigeria-UK Prisoners Transfer Agreement stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) on Tuesday in London.
The High Commissioner said that the figure had reduced from 900 in 2008 to 540 currently, as some of the prisoners had completed their sentences and were released by the authorities.
He said that both countries were working on modalities for Prisoner's transfer following the review of the 2005 Memorandum of Understanding on Migration Return Partnership.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports under the agreement, prisoners do not have an option of where they want to serve their terms of imprisonment, because the transfer is mandatory by law.
When the transfer process begins, some 200 Nigerian prisoners in the UK would be in the first batch of those that would sent home to complete their jail terms.
Tafida also said that a similar scheme under the auspices of the Nigeria-Commonwealth PrisonerS Transfer agreement has seen the return of only one prisoner since it came into force.
NAN reports that the Commonwealth scheme allows for voluntary transfer based on the prisoner's wish.
However, many prisoners prefer to serve out their terms in the UK, where the prison conditions in their opinion is better. .
Meanwhile the number of Nigerians repatriated from the UK on a monthly basis remains between 40 to 50 persons.