Mr Sunny Ejeje, Chairman of the Apapa Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), has called for more private sector investments in the nation’s prisons service to enhance the welfare of inmates.
Ejeje, during a welfare visit to the Female Correctional Service in Kirikiri, Lagos, also called on the Federal Government to upgrade facilities and build more hostels for prison inmates.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NSE, during the visit, donated clothes, cartons of noodles and pastries, toiletries, bags of sanitary towels, bags of bath slippers and other items to the inmates as part of activities to mark engineering week of the branch.
He commended recent the renaming the Nigerian Prison Service to Nigerian Correctional Service and urged government to expand investments that would tackle prison congestion and welfare of inmates.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari recently signed a bill changing the name of the Nigerian Prisons Service to Nigerian Correctional Service.
“I have visited several other prisons and with what we saw there, it is difficult for government to just change name without the necessary infrastructure and facilities on ground,’’ he said.
He explained that the infrastructure deficit in the nation’s prisons was so huge that contributions being made by some well- meaning Nigerians were not enough.
He appealed to the federal government to seek private sector collaboration to ensure that inmates actually go through rehabilitation to avoid a situation where they may be released due to congestion without reformation.
Ejeje commended ongoing government initiatives to teach various vocations and educate inmates.
He said that the NSE was planning to rebuild some low fences at the Kirikiri Female Correctional Service premises.
He called on human rights lawyers to sponsor private member bills to amend some the country’s laws which stigmatised ex-convicts.
“Our branch can liaise with some of our colleagues who are human rights lawyers to see how we can sponsor a bill.
“We are here today to let the inmates know that it is not the end, that there is hope and life after serving prison term and they can live wonderful lives again,’’ he said.
Earlier, an official of the prison received the items on behalf of the DCP Lizzy Ependu in charge of the Kirikiri Female Correctional Service.