President of Business Club, Ikeja and National Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Mr. Rotimi Oladele, has said Nigerians should not see ex-convicts as useless to the society but rather as those given a second chance to make amends for their crime.
Speaking at the Prison Fellowship of Nigeria, (PFN) stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos, Oladele urged the Federal Government to copy the Chinese system where former convicts come out from prison as refined individuals with various skills that have impacted on their economy over the years.
“In the Peoples Republic of China, when you go to prison for two years, you graduate with a vocational certificate and a mobilisation fee, and you are sent to Africa. We need to use what we have to get what we want. If we can use our local products and man power which include the prisons, then we can have advantage in the world economy.
“The problems with Nigeria are that we have everything in abundance, and as followers, we have not defined what we want and our leaders have taken advantage of us all. Nigeria’s three major problems are abundance, follower-ship and leadership,” he said.
PFN Executive Director, Benson Iwuagwu, in his address proposed a more rehabilitative environment for the inmates.
“The level of crime in Nigeria is on the increase daily because the rehabilitation process in the prisons is not helping. Overcrowding and consequential inhumane treatment is affecting inmates. Once we can fix the prison system, the number of crime would drastically reduce. We need a restorative justice system. The process has begun but there are setbacks,” he stated.