By Martha Agas
Jos – In a bid to ensure the reintegration of prison inmates into society, the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) says it has paid the Nigerian Examination Council (NECO) fees for 35 inmates of Jos Prison.
The Director-General of ITF, Mr Joseph Ari, disclosed this on Monday in Jos while making a donation of books and toiletries to them.
Ari said that the gesture was part of the fund’s corporate social responsibility and its 47th anniversary.
He said that payment of the fees was to encourage the inmates to work hard for the exams, that that acquiring education while in prison would help them reintegrate into the society after serving their time.
“We implore the candidates to read hard and do not indulge in examination malpractice; success in the exams would usher them to a great future.’’
He said the educational items donated comprised text-books for the basic subjects, white boards, calculators and writing materials, to improve access of education in the prison.
The ITF boss said his organisation would liaise with the Plateau State Command of Nigerian Prisons to improve on some of their facilities where inmates were being trained on vocation and technical skills.
“ITF was established to promote and develop manpower in the country, to enable households generate income thereby discouraging youth restiveness and other social vices in the society.
“We commend the prisons for towing this line in equipping the inmates with the requisite skills they would need to have decent source of livelihood through its vocational trainings.’’
According to him, the gesture will discourage them from returning to crime.
In his remarks, Daniel Odharo, the Controller of Prisons, Plateau State Command, commended ITF for impacting the lives of the inmates with its donations.
Odharo appealed to the organisation to include the inmates in its manpower capacity development programmes, saying that it would help them to generate sustainable income instead of engaging in criminal activities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the major challenge of the vocational workshops is power supply and inadequate number of training equipment.
The Jos Prison offers the 1,016 inmates vocational training in metal fabrication, carpentry, knitting, hairdressing, leather works and tailoring as well as organises adult education for them