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FG To Empower Inmates At Various Correctional Centres With N500,000 Each

Fortune will soon smile at the least 500 inmates at each various Correctional Centres across the country, as federal government has promised to train and empower each of them with N500, 000 start up grant as arrangements to rehabilitate themselves after serving prison terms.

Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu on Technical, Vocational, Entrepreneurship Education, Abiola Arogundade, made the disclosure during a press conference in Abuja.

Announcing that the pilot edition has commenced at the Kuje Medium Correctional Centre, Arogundade revealed that the training will be in the areas of tailoring, shoemaking, poultry farming, computer appreciation, barbing, carpentry, liquid soap and disinfectants, and laundry services, among others.

Asked her target nationwide in the next 12 months, she replied; “I will put it in each Correctional Centre, we would like to train a minimum of 500 inmates. In Kuje now there are 723 of them, but we will like to train a minimum of 500 and the reason is that we can not compel them to be trained. It is something that they want to do, not something like military approach.

“So we talk to them, we give them questionnaire, I was reading some of the questionnaire administered to them and they were like, no we don’t want to be trained. Those that do not we try to educate them in a little way on why the training is important.

“Some of them said if we are trained what we will use it for. So we announced to them that any single person that is trained under my office will get access to N500,000 to start up,” she announced.

On the skills the intended beneficiaries will get, Arogundade said; “There is fashion, ITC (information technology), tailoring, snowmaking, poultry farming, computer appreciation, barbing, carpentry, liquid soap and disinfectants.

“These are what they chose themselves. They chose what themselves want. We give them the flexibility on what they want. Some IT, some soap making, fashion, poultry, fishing. Like I said earlier, when we were in Kuje, it is based on their passion that we train them on.

“It is something that each inmate is passionate about that we give them the money to do what they want and the number of the people that filled the forms successfully say they want to do everything that is in the document even the curriculum is in the document – different trainings,” she explained.

Arogundade also spoke on the duration of the training, and why the focus on Correctional Centres, revealing that; “some are nine months, some are six months, some for one year, everything is there.

“Correctional Centres is just one of our interventions. It is not that we are focused on it, we have like at least 15 that we are working on. So, it is just one of them and it is important that we don’t leave anybody behind. Those in Correctional Centres inmates will come out and live with us so we don’t want to leave anybody behind. That’s what the President stands for, to carry everybody along.

“The reason we are working with multinationals is because we don’t want them to come to Nigeria and all the jobs that are supposed to be for Nigerians will be going to expatriates. So why can’t we Nigerians take these jobs and make that money whether in Forex or Naira? It is important that we speak to the multinationals and tell them that when you come you have to train our people up.

“Tell us the skills you want you train them and you employ them because it will be unfair for them to be coming from their country to make money in our country and our people are suffering. Is not just multinationals, local companies, all the companies across the country that are looking for jobs must focus on our Nigerian people, let’s have these jobs because we can do it.

“All we need is a bit of push and training. We don’t want foreigners to come and take all our money out. We want to take care of our own people,” she explained.


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