The Nasarawa Command of the Nigeria Prisons Service on Wednesday said that 25 inmates were undergoing degree courses at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) in the state. The State Controller of Prisons, Ekwere Ekaneem, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday in Lafia.
According to him, 20 inmates of Keffi Prison and five inmates of Lafia Prison are currently studying various courses at the NOUN study centre in Lafia. “At the Medium Security Prison in Keffi, we have 20 inmates at the Open University and at the Lafia Prison we have five. “Apart from these inmates, we also have inmates who have written NABTEB and other examinations,” he added. He, however, noted that promises of assistance in paying fees of the inmates by both government and other organisations were yet to be fulfilled. The controller said that prisons authorities took up the responsibility of paying their tuition fees to ensure that the concerned inmates were reformed as better citizens. According to him, educating inmates and helping them to acquire skills will go a long way in reforming them and ease their reintegration into society when released from prison.
Ekaneem appealed to public-spirited individuals and organisations to assist the inmates, saying “they remain citizens of the country in spite of being in prison.’’ According to him, prisons in the state are facing many challenges such as shortage of drugs, beds, mattresses and portable water. Other challenges included inadequate vehicles to convey inmates and those awaiting trial to courts, “resulting in delay in justice and prison congestion,” he said. NAN