Twenty-five prison inmates are undergoing degree courses at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) in Nasarawa state.
Mr. Ekwere Ekaneem, the State Controller of Nigerian Prisons Service, said on Wednesday in Lafia that 20 of the prisoners are in Keffi Prison and five in Lafia’s.
“Apart from these inmates, we also have inmates who have written examinations conducted by National Business and Technical Education Board (NABTEB),” he added.
Promises of assistance in paying fees of the inmates by both governments and other organisations were yet to be fulfilled, he said.
The controller said prisons authorities took up the responsibility of paying their tuition fees to ensure that the concerned inmates were reformed as better citizens.
According to him, educating inmates and helping them to acquire skills will go a long way in reforming them and ease their reintegration into society when released from prison.
Ekaneem appealed to public-spirited individuals and organisations to assist the inmates, saying “they remain citizens of the country in spite of being in prison.’’
According to him, prisons in the state are facing many challenges such as shortage of drugs, beds, mattresses and portable water.
Other challenges included inadequate vehicles to convey inmates and those awaiting trial to courts, “resulting in delay in justice and prison congestion,” he said.