According to the Controller of Prisons, Lagos Command, Mr Timothy Tinuonye, no less than 70 inmates are currently studying for various NOUN programmes in the three prisons in the state.
He stated that the number will rise because of the tuition-free policy that has been offered recently by the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). He noted that NOUN’s initiative was a booster to the Nigeria Prison Authority’s task of reformation of the inmates.
NOUN had recently offered 100 per cent full scholarship to all prisoners who are undertaking a degree programme in the university.
He disclosed this on Wednesday during the formal presentation of certificate to Mr Albert Emmanuel Ajogbor, a NOUN student at the Maximum Security Prison, Kirikiri, in Lagos, who earned a B.A. (Hons) in Christian Theology.
Earlier, the Deputy Controller of Prison in charge of the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison, Mr. Seye Oduntan, had remarked that prisoners were intelligent people but it was circumstances that took them to the penitentiary.
He lauded NOUN for its initiative, which he described as an encouragement to the prison authorities, and called on the inmates to be committed to getting some education.
Meanwhile, the vice chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof Abdalla Uba Adamu, said the university was fulfilling its corporate responsibility when it gave tuition fee waiver to prisoners in the country.
He added that the university was also contributing its quota to humanity, saying that the recent decision was also due to the shortage of sponsorship offers for inmates.
According to him, the decision was in line with the university’s vision “to be regarded as the foremost university providing highly accessible and enhanced education anchored by social justice, equity, equality and national cohesion through comprehensive reach that transcends all barriers.”