Enugu correctional service enrolls 1,137 inmates for NECO

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The Enugu State Command of the Nigeria Correctional Service reports registering 1,137 inmates for the National Examination Council of Nigeria (NECO) external exams over the past 12 years.

On Tuesday, Mr. Nicholas Obiako, the Controller of Corrections in Enugu State, revealed to the News Agency of Nigeria that 124 inmates are currently participating in the ongoing NECO external examination at the Special Study Centre located within the Enugu Custodial Centre.

He emphasized the commendable educational efforts and formation programs for inmates across the three custodial centers in the state—Enugu, Nsukka, and Oji River. Obiako highlighted that the number of inmates writing the NECO examination, currently at 124, is one of the highest among custodial centers in any state in the country.

“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 centers.

“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 center in Enugu Custodial Centre.”

“For those that cannot continue, they will be enrolled into various vocational centers – 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 commended Mr. Haliru Nababa, the Controller-General of Corrections, for prioritizing education as a valuable tool for the reformation, re-orientation, and reintegration of inmates back into society under his administration.

“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 center,” he added.

A Deputy Controller of Corrections overseeing Operations, Mr. Kelvin Iloafonsi, highlighted that the pursuit of education and the acquisition of certificates during incarceration has resulted in zero recidivism among former inmates who received schooling within the custodial centers.

Iloafonsi emphasized that the achievement of zero recidivism was a result of the vision of the Controller-General of Corrections, Mr. Nababa, who aimed to implement practical 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 percent 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.