THE National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with the Kaduna State government and the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), to empower inmates through a skills acquisition programme.
The Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, who was represented at the MoU signing ceremony, in Kaduna, at the weekend, by his deputy, Mr Barnabas Yusuf Bala, said that skills acquisition programme has always been part of his administration’s effort to provide service for humanity, adding that the state government had already done a lot in renovating and providing for the prison sector to maintain law and order.
El-Rufai said that the partnership would give opportunity 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 human activities 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 and welcomed the university’s decision to site its library in the state.
The state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mrs Amina Sijuwade, in her remarks on the occasion, said that the programme, which is divided into two phases, would cover training in Kaduna prisons on basic Information Communication Technology(ICT) and tailoring for about 60 inmates and hairdressing, among others.
The Comptroller of Prisons, Kaduna State, Mr Yazid Bala Alhassan, commended the state government for its efforts in ensuring that Kaduna Prison remains one of the best in the country and expressed appreciation to NOUN and other partners for their support in empowering prison inmates.
Earlier, the vice-chancellor of NOUN, Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, had commended the Kaduna State government and the Prison Service for deeming it fit to partner with NOUN, adding that the university is proud to be associated with the el-Rufai-led administration.
Adamu described Kaduna as the state with the highest number of partnerships with NOUN.
The MoU, he stated, would allow the partners to work assiduously for mutual benefit of the inmates and that of the state, adding that the partnership would work and become best practices for other stakeholders to emulate.