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Presidency commences vocational training for 500 inmates in each correctional centre

The Presidency on Wednesday, revealed that it has commenced the training of 500 inmates in each correctional facility nationwide.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurial Education, Abiola Arogundade, while addressing a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, said the training is part of the plan by the current administration to drive down the 133 million people that are said to be living in poverty in Nigeria.

She said beyond confinement, the training offers inmates personal and professional growth opportunities, including vocational training, saying this approach prepares inmates for post-incarceration life, investing in their future and societal well-being.

Arogundade said this perspective recognises the humanity and potential for change in every individual, adding that the preliminary assessment underscores the urgency of the intervention.

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

She said at the moment, the focus would be on inmates who are closer to the end of the prison sentence.

She said, “We’ve 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.”

When asked the number of inmates they target at the end of the year, Arogundade explained: “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 would like to train a minimum of 500 and the reason is that we can not compel them to be trained, it’s something that you want to do, not something like the military.”

Arogundade also revealed that there were two dimensions to the training, adding that they have six months and nine months of training, depending on what the inmates want to do.

According to her, 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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