Nigeria: Ogun State graduates 68 prison inmates in vocational skills
Abeokuta, June 4, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Sixty-eight inmates of Ibara Prison in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, have graduated after undergoing vocational training ranging from four months to three years.
The inmates acquired entrepreneurial skills in tailoring, hairdressing, furniture making, knitting, bead making, soap making, as well as hand fan making among others.
Speaking at the graduation of the inmates held on the premises of the prison, Deputy-Comptroller of Prison and Officer – in – charge, Sunday Kolawole, said the training was part of rehabilitation programmes line-up for the inmates by the Comptroller-General of Prisons, Ja’afaru Ahmed.
He added that the vocational training was also meant to change the society’s perception about prisons being punitive centres for criminals rather than centres of rehabilitation and reformation to make them good citizens.
Kolawole said the inmates’ were trained in the vocation of their choice, adding that they were trained by professionals.
He explained that the prisons authorities, with the support of some non-governmental organisations, provided equipment used for the training.
Kolawole also said the beneficiaries would be given necessary equipment to start off their trade after completing their sentences.
Kolawole noted that the move was to help them integrate back into the society, saying their integration could not be done alone by the prisons’ welfare officers or after care officers but by everybody.
He said, “This is to change the perception of the society about prisons. Prisons are correctional centres established to reposition and refine inmates.”
He said that the prison had many educational and vocational programmes in place for inmates, a mover he said was responsible for the peace atmosphere being experienced in the prison.
The Chief Judge of the State, Mrs Bukola Olopade, who was represented by the Deputy Chief Registrar, Administration, Mrs Oriyomi Sofowora, urged the beneficiaries to take what they have learnt seriously.
One of the beneficiaries who learnt bead making and spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said the training was a big experience for him, adding, “I am now a reformed person.”
He commended the management of the prison for organising the training.
He said, “Bead making is my passion and the training is a big and good experience for me. Any mistake in bead making is a style. I really thank them.”