ABUJA – (Federal Ministry of Interior Report) – The Nigeria Prisons Service has won the 2018 United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Confucius Award for Literacy and Skills Acquisition for Inmates conducted in Paris, France.
The release issued from the Publicity Department of the Federal Ministry of Interior lately indicates that the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau (Lt Gen Rtd) while receiving the award from the Controller-General of Prisons, Ahmed Ja’afaru in Abuja stated that the award is part of the positive results of the prisons reforms embarked upon by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration.
Abdulrahman Dambazau reiterated government’s commitment to entrenching the Prisons Reform Policy in the areas of welfare, rehabilitation, reformation and protection of the rights and privileges of inmates. He added that the Federal Government has already approved funds to improve on the environmental condition of inmates in accordance with the United Nations minimum standard. He further explained that this is to be implemented through the construction of new prisons and renovation of old ones, while collaboration with some State Governments is on-going for them to relocate some prisons.
He stressed that the Ministry through the Nigeria Prisons Service (NIS) has in addition provided drugs and clinics, ambulances as well as operational vehicles to facilitate easy movement of inmates to and fro courts for quick dispensation of justice. He also noted that the Federal Government has advertised for recruitment into the Nigerian Prisons Service, in order to build the capacity of the organisation for effective service delivery. He later disclosed that the Nigeria Prisons Service is collaborating with the Ministry of Justice and the Judiciary to ensure the release of minor offenders to assist in the decongestion of prisons.
The Minister expressed confidence in the leadership of the Controller-General of Prisons, Ja’afaru Ahmed and congratulated him for enhancing the capacity of inmates by encouraging them to access knowledge for self-development. He emphasized that the goal of incarceration was to transform the inmates into better citizens before their reintegration into the society. While attributing the academic achievements of the inmates to proper motivation by the authorities, he volunteered to serve as an external supervisor for the two (2) PhD students in prison custody.
Speaking earlier, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Prisons Service, Ahmed Ja’afaru said that the service offers opportunities in literacy and skills acquisition to reduce the rate of inmates re-offending when re-integrated into the society and to influence their end-of-prison-term lives positively. He hinted that the inmates have benefited from close to 100 undergraduate and postgraduate courses as well as having two PhD students, adding that the Nigeria Prisons Service has been in collaboration with the National Open University of Nigeria, all geared towards improving the literacy level of inmates.
Ahmed Ja’afaru who expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for transforming the Prisons Service through positive reforms, thanked the Interior Minister for his strategic leadership in ensuring that the service meets the United Nations minimum standard rules for the treatment of prisoners.