Seeing the Nigerian prisoners as citizens who have the potential to be great, President Buhari has granted them free University education. He is making this possible in collaboration with the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
The Nigerian prisons have been noted to be lacking a lot of things. More importantly, the prison facility is conclusively seen a place where people are meant to rot for their crimes.
Ideally, the prison is a correctional facility. It is a place where people take some time off, paying for their crimes, rehabilitate and hopefully transform into better persons. This is the only reason why some non-profit organizations have taken up the challenge of seeing detained people through the psychological process.
The recent university education grant from the Nigerian president is encouraging. Interested Nigerian prisoners can now be formally schooled in confinement. This will go a long way in the reformation of some.
“It will also provide a platform for them to improve their skills and make themselves better citizens. NOUN, being a single-mode institution, is charged with the responsibility of adding lifelong values to those yearning for quality education.”– Ibrahim Sheme, Director, Media and Publicity of NOUN.
The Vice Chancellor of the institution says that this will be “the first of its kind”, coming from the Federal level. Ibrahim also noted that this noble declaration will contribute to global peace. Perhaps if Nigerian prisoners were treated like citizens who still had rights, most of them will re-enter the society as better persons.
NOUN is a federal institution established to make education more affordable for Nigerians. It was set up in 1983. One year later it was suspended under Buhari’s military administration. In 2001, it was re-opened. Its first enrollment hit a shocking toll of 32, 4000 Nigerians.
Indeed making education accessible for Nigerian prisoners is a good move; for the inmates and the society at large. The trend has been working in countries like Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia.