NOUN partners Kaduna, NPS to train inmates
In furtherance of its mandate of availing the mass of Nigerians the opportunity of acquiring knowledge, and bettering their lot through tertiary education, the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with Kaduna State government, and the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), to empower inmates through a skill acquisition programme.
Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, who spoke at the ceremony, stated that skills acquisition programme has always been an integral part of his administration’s efforts to provide service to humanity.
Represented by his deputy, Mr. Barnabas Yusuf Bala, El-Rufai said that the state government has done a lot to renovate and provide for the prison sector.
He explained that the partnership would give opportunities to prison inmates who, as a result of their incarceration, were unable to engage in any productive venture, to acquire skills in different areas of endeavour and also get them prepared for the labour market upon their release from custody.
The governor commended NOUN for being a worthy partner in the project, and also for its magnanimity in granting 100 per cent waiver to all inmates who are desirous of qualitative education just as welcomed the university’s decision to site its library in the state.
Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, in the state, Mrs. Amina Sijuwade, in her remarks disclosed that the programme, which is divided into two phases, would cover training in Kaduna prisons on basic ICT, hairdressing and tailoring for about 60 inmates amongst others.
She called on all stakeholders and well-meaning members of the society to lend their support to the project.
Comptroller of Prisons in the state, Mr. Yazid Bala Alhassan, commended the government for its efforts in ensuring that Kaduna Prison remains one of the best in the country. He expressed appreciation to NOUN and other partners for their support in empowering prison inmates.
Vice Chancellor of the NOUN, Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, expressed appreciation to government and the NPS for deeming it fit to partner with NOUN, adding that the university is proud to be associated with the good works of the El-Rufai administration.
He described the state as one with the highest number of partnerships with NOUN, adding that NOUN would allow the partners to work assiduously for mutual benefit of the inmates, and that of the state.
He further disclosed that NOUN has not only dedicated a special study centre for Nigerian prison inmates, but also offered registration, which amounts to full scholarship for any inmate studying in the university throughout their incarceration.
It would be recalled that NOUN had, in May 2016, announced a 100 per cent waiver to all inmates who desire to learn.
Recently, NOUN approved the establishment of a study centre for prisoners in Gombe State, and also waived registration and other fees for the inmates.
The Comptroller of Prisons in the state, Alhaji Ahmadu Adamu, who made the disclosure when Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo, visited some inmates as part of activities to mark the state’s 20th anniversary, said that the gesture would enable inmates who have met university admission requirements to have university education while serving their prison terms.