Three inmates of Kirikiri Maximum Prison who are beneficiaries of National Open University  Special Study Centre in the prison recently graduated. Despite being inmates at the prison, their certificates are valid and will be recognised wherever they tender them.

The inmates who took the study at the Special Study Centre provided by National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) in the prison were awarded Masters degree in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, as well as Business Administration while one other graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree (BSc) in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution.

The names of the graduating inmates are Oladipupo Moshood, Tunwashe Kabir and Alegbe Afolabi. The vice-chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Adamu While encouraging inmates to be optimistic, said that being a prisoner is no limit to their dreams and aspirations in life.

He also stated that most of the programmes available for inmates are entrepreneurship inclined to empower and prepare them for life, adding that skills acquired would enable them to live a better and independent life instead of a futile search for white-collar jobs.

Prof. Adamu explained that the institute provides free education up to the doctoral level for inmates and he also advised them to make good use of this opportunity. He pledged to improve facilities in the centre and threatened to sanction anyone that deprives inmates of the privilege.

Speaking at the ceremony, Controller General, Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS), Ja’afaru Ahmed, urged other inmates to make use of the opportunity provided by NOUN to further their education. He also explained that the NPS had empowered many inmates with education from secondary to masters degree level as part of efforts to reform the prisoners.

In his words, he said “We have collaborated with Ministry of Labour to give inmates Trade Test Grades one, two and three and for those who want to further their education, we create an enabling environment for them. For those furthering their education, some have done WAEC while some have proceeded to university for degrees; 420 inmates are currently studying in NOUN and 10 are in 400 level.”

One of the graduating inmates, Kabiru Tunwase, who is in his late 40s, expressed appreciation to the prison authorities as well as NOUN for the privilege to study at no cost. He also appealed to the management of the institution to improve the centre’s infrastructure for optimal learning to take place.

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