Enugu Correctional Service enrolls 1,137 inmates for NECO

A file photo of a prisoner behind bars

The Nigeria Correctional Service, Enugu State Command says it has registered 1,137 inmates for the National Examination Council of Nigeria external exams in the last 12 years.

The Controller of Corrections in Enugu State, Mr Nicholas Obiako, disclosed this on Tuesday in Enugu to the News Agency of Nigeria.

The controller said that 124 inmates were taking the ongoing NECO external examination at the Special Study Centre within the Enugu Custodial Centre.

Obiako noted that the three custodial centres in the state, comprising Enugu, Nsukka, and Oji River, had been doing well as far as the educational pursuit and formation of inmates were concerned.

According to him, there are currently 124 inmates writing the NECO examination, which is one of the highest among inmates in custodial centres in any given state in the county.

“For over many years now, our inmates come out with excellent results as we invest heavily in grooming them right from the primary and secondary school classes and quality adult education classes in the centres.

“Most of those who will make their result in their chosen field of study will seek direct admission to the university through the National Open University of Nigeria that has a study centre in Enugu Custodial Centre.

“For those that cannot continue, they will be enrolled into various vocational centres – tailoring, leather, iron, wood works etc – and they will be groomed to pass a trade test examination for certification before graduating from the vocational training,” he said.

Obiako also lauded the Controller-General of Corrections, Mr Haliru Nababa, for his administration’s focus on education as a viable tool for reformation, re-orientation, and reintegration of the inmates back into society.

“The Nigeria Correctional Service under Nababa’s watch has committed available resources to ensure that inmates develop themselves while in custody, to ensure self-reliance and public protection even after their stay in the custodial centre,” he added.

A Deputy Controller of Corrections in charge of Operations, Mr Kelvin Iloafonsi, said that the education pursuit and obtaining of certificates while serving had led to zero recidivism among former inmates that schooled within the custodial centres.

Iloafonsi said that the zero recidivism recorded was the brain-child of the Controller-General of Corrections, Mr Nababa, to ensure pragmatic reformation solutions.

“I must commend our hardworking and resourceful C-G of Corrections, which has created the enabling environment for inmates to study and also improve on their academic proficiency.

Iloafonsi, who is also the Desk Officer of the National Open University of Nigeria, said that some NGOs, such as the Catholic Prisoners’ Interest Organisation and others assisted in the education of the inmates.

“They have been an immense help to us since the inception of educational reforms and, in fact, the ongoing 2023 NECO exams; CAPIO registered about 90 per cent of the 124 inmates writing the exam and other public-spirited individuals took care of the rest.

“We are asking for more NGOs to come to the aid of the inmates and partner with us to help teach them how to fish and become responsible when they are released,” he said.