Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has applauded the decision of the Federal Government to establish shoe and garment factories in Aba Correctional Centre to empower inmates, through skills development.
Ikpeazu gave the commendation at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Aba Medium Security Correctional Services Shoe and Garment Factory.
Represented at the event by his Deputy, Udo Oko-Chukwu, the Abia State governor affirmed that the manpower and other resources needed to make the Centre function properly are available in the state.
He promised that the state would provide expertise, materials and other resources to ensure the centre achieve its goals.
He also promised that the Service’s request for security and mobility would be looked into.
Rauf Aregbesola, minister of Interior, on a live streaming from Abuja, urged parties involved in the construction of Aba Correctional Services Shoe and Garment Factory to ensure its timely delivery.
He observed that the investment of that size coming to the economy is a sign of great trust in the Service and urged all that have roles to play in the actualisation of the project to ensure its timely delivery.
He stated that Nigeria no longer has a punitive regime, but a correctional, reformative service, which is the way to go, noting that NCS is now turning its facilities into enterprise centres with the aim to boost the economy.
John Mrabure, acting controller-general, NCS, explained that the event is in line with the Service’s determination to promote credible correctional services, through excellent penal practices.
He explained that the Service decided to contribute to human resource development of Nigerians, by providing opportunities for inmates to learn a trade or study in custody for a better life.
He stated that the project began in 2016 with a proposal from Erojim Investment Limited for the expansion and upgrade of existing shoe factory in the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Aba.
He urged all hands to be on deck to ensure the realisation of the project, which is a Public Private Partnership project with Erojim Investments Limited.
Aba Medium Security Custodial Services currently has 628 inmates, with 568 awaiting trial, while 60 are convicts according to Julius Ezeugwu, a controller of corrections.
Ezeugwu appreciated the investment partners and management of NCS for giving Aba such a wonderful opportunity to make inmates better, through teaching them skills at the small scale industries hub of Nigeria.