Women Affairs, Correctional Services partner on skill acquisition, after care for female inmates

As part of efforts towards ensuring the realization of its mandate, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs has expressed its willingness to collaborate with the Correctional Service on skill acquisition and aftercare for female inmates.

The Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, Barrister (Mrs) Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, disclosed this when the Controller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa led a delegation on a courtesy visit to her office in Abuja

She stated that women by their nature are enterprising and as such, every effort put into their development, whether as inmates or free citizens, will in the long run contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.

Besides, she added, if women who are behind bars are properly rehabilitated after their release, through skill acquisition and other deliberate sustainable empowerment initiatives, they are capable of contributing to the peace and stability of their respective families and the society at large.

Barrister Kennedy-Ohanenye recalled that on assumption of office as Minister of Women Affairs, she paid a visit to
the Suleija Correctional Centre to identify with female inmates.

According to her, “I was touched by the challenges some of the female inmates were facing, some of whom have been awaiting trial for offences that require between N10,000.00 to N15,000.00 to regain their freedom. On further engagement with the officers at the Centre, the Ministry paid and facilitated the release of 92 female inmates, including the male inmates.

“I was also excited to see their potentials even while being incarcerated, as the female inmates produced soaps, detergent, and Dettol, including sewing of fabrics,” she said.

The Ministry then resolved to initiate a scheme that will empower them sustainably through the provision of industrial machines and other modern equipment to upscale the production of soaps, detergent, and other items

Barrister Kennedy-Ohanenye informed that with the E-market portal which has been unveiled by government, the Ministry was ready to partner with the Service to onboard female inmates across the country with a view to helping them work and earn incomes even as inmates while their monies are saved up for them to access immediately after their release from the prison

This move, she said, is aimed at providing meaningful sources of livelihood for them after their release from prison to prevent any further attempt to be lured back into criminality after the completion of their jail terms

The Minister added that the plight of the female inmates, among others kindled in her, the burden to initiate a partnership with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) which culminated into the Governors’ approval of the establishment of Mobile Courts in all States of the Federation and the FCT for quick dispensation of justice on issues relating to gender based violence as well as to further decongest Correctional Centres across the country.

In his remarks, the Controller-General of the Nigeria Correctional Service, Haliru Nadaba, explained that their visit is a follow-up on the Minister’s earlier visit to the Honorable Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Ojo to seek areas of collaboration with the Ministry, especially on programmes that will encourage female inmates on skill acquisition, training as well as sustainable empowerment that will enable them to be productive and earn income that will give them strong financial base after their discharge from the Correctional Centres

He commended the Honourable Minister, Barrister Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye as well as the Management and Staff of the Ministry for their determination to ensure that women, children and the vulnerable in the society are empowered in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration.

He assured that the Service would partner with any Ministry, Department and Agency (MDA) of the Federal Government, especially in the area of skill acquisition and aftercare services for inmates.

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