The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) says it has empowered some deserving ex-offenders, trained in different vocations in the course of their incarceration in the Service with some working tools.
The Controller General, NCoS, Mr Ja’afaru Ahmed, noted that some of the ex-offenders were trained in various vocations which includes carpentry, tailoring, electrical, barbing, hair dressing, masonry, laundry and welding.
Presenting the tools to the beneficiaries on Wednesday in Abuja, Ahmed said that it was part of the agency’s mandate to promote public protection by providing assistance to offenders in order to facilitate their reformation.
According to him, the training will also help to rehabilitate and reintegrate them into the society as law-abiding and responsible citizens on discharge.
“The After-Care Scheme has over the years proven to be quite critical to the realisation of the statutory mandates of the Service.
“This has aptly encapsulated in NCoS Act, 2019 with particular reference to the reformation, rehabilitation and subsequent reintegration of inmates back to the society on discharge.
“This is largely because the skill acquisition will keep beneficiaries stay away from returning to life of crime.
“In the last few years under my watch, the NCoS has been able to resuscitate and renovate old vocational workshops and also built new, modern workshops and Farm Centres.
“This is apart from promoting sundry vocational skills acquisition through industrial workshops and Agricultural and Farm Centres.
“We have also continued to partner with relevant stakeholders to promote Adult Remedial Education both at the Post Primary and Tertiary levels,” he said.
According to Ja’afaru, some of the serving inmates wrote and even excelled in their examinations while some others are pursuing Degree Programmes in different fields.
He said that this educational success was achieve through the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) which currently has study centres in some Custodial Centres across the country.
“The Service is taking all these steps because the idea of incarceration for punishment alone has since been jettisoned the world over.
“The contemporary global penal trend is correction; hence the NCoS is continuously engaging serving inmates on activities that have capacity to engender positive change in them.
“We have recently embarked on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) initiatives in the construction and management of the Service’s Industries and Workshops in order to boost the capacity of the service.
“This is majorly to train and prepare inmates for self- sustenance
“The expectation is that when fully consummated, the partnerships would facilitate the activities towards reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates into the society on discharge, ” he said.
The Comptroller General, therefore called on all the beneficiaries to justify government’s huge investments in providing the vocational tools by working hard and being law-abiding citizens.
“Finally, I want to re-assure the Nation that the Service is ever ready and committed to deliver on its statutory mandate. We therefore need the support of all stakeholders,” he said.
edits by Angela Okisor/Ismail Abdulaziz
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