Plans are afoot by the Federal Government to train and empower 500 inmates in each of the 240 correctional facilities nationwide in various skills for life after their terms.

The pilot scheme of the project started at the Kuje Correctional Center.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Education, Miss. Abiola Arogundade announced this to newsmen in Abuja.

The Presidential aide said the empowerment was part of the plan of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration to reduce 133 million people who are said to be living in poverty in Nigeria.

Arogundade said that the training offers inmates, especially those about to complete their terms personal and professional growth opportunities, including vocational training, stressing that the approach was to prepare inmates for post-incarceration life, investing in their future and societal well-being.

The presidential aide stressed that the inmates would be trained in design designing, Information Technology, soap making, fashion, poultry, and fishing, among others. 

She stated: “We have also started training in the correctional centres. We launched the scheme in Kuje. We took a few members from my office to the correctional centre to do an audit of the needs of the inmates. I’m happy to announce that we started conducting the assessment and auditing of the trainees. 

“We are happy to also announce that we have secured it for every single person in training. At the end of their prison terms and our training, we give you N500,000 to set up your business so you don’t become a second-time offender at a correctional centre. This scheme is ongoing. 

“So after Kuje Correctional Centre, we are moving to Suleja. We are going to try and duplicate this intervention in all our correctional centres across the country.”

She further said, “We would like to train a minimum of 500 inmates. In Kuje now there are 723 of them we would like to train a minimum of 500 and the reason is that we can not compel them to be trained is something that you want to do, not something like the military.”

Explaining further, the Presidential aide said the training would run for six months and nine months, depending on what inmates want to do. 

“We are also training the beneficiaries. For example, if you are going to be a hairdresser, we train you on how to have the best skills in hairdressing. We empower you with the kiosk. Not only that, the kiosk will have three streams of income. You can use the kiosk for your main skill which in this case as I mentioned, will be hairdressing, you can use it for POS business and other ventures. 

“So we are partnering with the bank. They will supply the POS and also you can use it to charge phones. We are using that as a multi-purpose intervention for three streams of income which we are launching today and we will be giving it out to the beneficiaries after we train and certify them,” she said.

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