LAGOS : About 430 prisoners across the country have been offered admission by the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) to enhance their educational development.
This was made possible by the intervention of the National Stakeholders on Prison Reforms, just as it was revealed that three others are on the verge of completing their doctorate degree in other universities in the country.
Allowing university education for inmates across prison facilities in the country is in tandem with the new reforms being implemented by the federal government.
The reforms aims at making life after prison more meaningful.
The Public Relations Officers of the Nigeria Prison Service (NPS), Francis Enebore, who revealed this yesterday at a media briefing on the forthcoming Public Presentation of Survey Reports on the Nigerian Prisons, said the open university was gracious in admitting the prisoners for their higher education to make them better citizens of the nation.
He appreciated Nigerians, religious and corporate bodies who have been assisting the ex convicts in providing for their educational needs.
Speaking further at the briefing which was co-hosted by the Executive Director of Prison Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) Dr. Uju Agomo, the PRO disclosed that 951 others were set free upon meeting conditions for freedom.
According to him, fines imposed on the ex convicts by various courts in the country were offset by the National Stakeholders to pave the way for their final release.
“In the education sector, I am pleased to announce that 430 of our prisoners are running various degree courses at the NOUN the new reform efforts allowed them to access university education in order to make life out of prison meaningful for them.
“At the same time, 951 others have been set free by the Nigerian Prison Services due to the intervention of the National Stakeholders which paid various fines imposed on them by various courts as conditions for their freedom.
“In the agriculture, massive revolution is going on with prisoners now engaging in full scale commercial farming. At the moment, we have our farm settlement in Kaduna where the Prisoners have produced huge quantities of beans, in Bauchi where rice had been produced and Edo where our farm settlement is involved in the production of palm oil,” he said.
Meanwhile, the survey report on the Nigerian Prisons would be formally presented to the Nigerian public on February 1.
The survey is anchored by experts put together by the Prisons Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) as part of reforms to be put forward to the federal government for implementation that will lead to decongestion of the prisons and ensuring adequate welfare for all inmates.