NPS wins $20,000 UNESCO prize over free education for inmates
The Federal Government has constituted a Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy as part of plans to decongest the nation’s prisons.
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, will serve as the committee’s chairman.
Part of the responsibility of the panel would be to recommend to the President prisoners and ex-convicts deserving presidential pardon.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha inaugurated the committee in Abuja yesterday.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on June 19 this year approved the composition of the committee, which Malami was directed to chair.
At the inauguration, Mustapha tasked members to brace up to the new challenge by visiting all prison location in the country to enable them recommend eligible ex-convicts and convicts deserving presidential pardon.
In his remarks, Permanent Secretary General Services in the SGF’s Office, William Alo, cited relevant sections of the constitution, which, according to him, will guide members in doing their job.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) has won the 2018 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)’s $20,000 Confucius Prize for literacy following the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN)’s free education programme for inmates.
UNESCO and China jointly instituted the prize in 2007 to reward outstanding individuals, governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) promoting literacy for rural adults and out-of-school people, particularly women and girls.
It was named after Confucius, the Chinese educator and philosopher and one of the most famous historical and cultural figures, whose thinking still influences education in China and the world.
Winners are awarded a silver medal diploma and $20,000, as well as a trip to Confucius birthplace.
NOUN’s Director of Media and Publicity, Ibrahim Sheme, said the university has been running the programme in Nigerian prisons free of charges.