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The Controller of Prisons, Lagos State Command, Mr Tunde Ladipo, during a recent interview has revealed that nothing less than 322 inmates in Ikoyi and Kirikiri prisons in Lagos State registered for the West African Senior Secondary Examination in the past three years.
Ladipo, said that inmates only sat for WASSCE for private candidates for the ordinary level certificate and that 206 of the inmates were from Ikoyi Prison, while 116 were from the Kirikiri Prison, Apapa.
In 2017, Ladipo revealed that at least 75 inmates of Ikoyi Prison registered for this year’s WASSCE for private candidates.
It was also revealed that inmates at the Kirikiri Prison do not sit for UTME but secure admission directly into the National Open University of Nigeria, if they pass WASCCE.
Registration of inmates for the examinations depends on sponsorship by well-meaning individuals and groups including churches and non-governmental organisations.
“Assisting inmates to have access to education opportunities was one outstanding way of keeping alive their hope of a successful return to the larger society.
He noted that the Nigeria Prisons Service was designed as a correction and reformation centre.
“We are trying to transform the lives of inmates through reading that could teach them morals after serving their jail terms.
“With these measures, they will easily get integrated into the society at the expiration of their jail terms, ’’ Ladipo said.
Ladipo also hailed Lagos State Government for supporting the command with utility vehicles to facilitate operations.
“The controller-general recorded a remarkable achievement in the last two years with improvement in the welfare and reformation of inmates.
“Inmates are trained in different vocations such as barbing, tailoring, art and design as well as bead making to empower them to be self-employed after their jail terms.
“We thank the state government and NGOs that have been supporting our operations,’’ Ladipo said.