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NEIP Gives Hope To Prison Imates

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The National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) throug its Entrepreneurship for Restoration Programme, have collaborated with the Ghana Prisons Service to provide skills in various Light manufacturing areas and Entrepreneurship to Prisons officers and Inmates including, the provision of Starter packs and kits they would use for production.


This was made known by the Chief Executive Officer for National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), Mr. Kofi Ofosu Nkansah during the launch of Entrepreneurship for Restoration Programme held in Accra.


“By promoting entrepreneurship among former inmates, we are creating job opportunities and stimulating economic growth within our Communities. These entrepreneurs will not only create employment for themselves but will also have the potential to employ others, thereby contributing to the reduction of unemployment and poverty in our nation”.

Mr. Nkansah disclosed that, NEIP in addition would also provide grants and loans as Working Capital for officers who have been trained for them to be able to set up the businesses properly likewise, working Capital to inmates for their set up, upon their discharge from the Prisons.
“The Grants and loans will be provided under our Youth in Innovative Agric disbursement for those who did fruit juice proessing and the Presidential Startup support and Youstart for the other products”.


The Light manufacturing areas for the training he indicated includes, Soap and detergents making ( i.e bar soaps, shower gels, liquid soaps, medicated soaps, afterwash etc), grains and cereals processing and packaging (for products like tom brown, rice soy, millet/sorghum mix, weetabix,etc ) juice processing and packaging from all our local fruits, nuts tubers and legumes processing and packaging (like groundnut paste, chocolate spread etc ), Production of local nonalcoholic drinks like Sobolo, Asana, atadwe ginger drink, lamuji, saamea etc, Production of youghurt and edible oils from palm oil and coconut oil, and cosmetics making (various body lotions and creams).


Mr. Kofi Nkansah noted that, the Soaps and detergents produced would help improve on the hygiene and wellbeing of inmates, reduce diseases and skin rashes, while the various food and drink products would also help improve on the diets of inmates and help improve their overall health.

“It will also help reduce the resources Government spends to provide detergents and food products to inmates. Economically, the Prisons will also generate some moneys from the sale of these packaged products”.
He revealed that, NEIP have provided all the Equipment the Prisons would need to start production which comprises Chest Freezers, Industrial Blenders, Water drums, Mixing basins, Wooden Spatula while others would be added later. “We have also provided some basic raw materials which will be used for production to all six training Centres”.
The CEO thanked the Interior Minister, Deputy Minister of Finance, and the Director General of the Ghana Prisons Service, for their immense support towards the success of the programme.


The Interior Minister, Hon. Ambrose Dery on his part pointed out that, the operations of Ghana Prisons Service have a direct impact on the lives and future of over 15,000 predominantly young Ghanaians who have fallen foul of the law and are in the custody of the Service.
He hinted that, the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Training Programme for the inmates is expected to give a significant boost to efforts already being made by the Prison Service to provide Rehabilitation Programmes for inmates.
The Interior Minister entreated all the stakeholders to work hard to ensure the success of the programme and also ensure that the goals and objectives are met.


He expressed appreciation to CEO of (NEIP) and commend him and his team for the brilliant idea to provide support for prison inmates.
He averred that, about 82% of the Country’s prisoner population fall within the age bracket of 18 to 35 years added that, many of them have neither formal education nor livelihood skills that would enable them to quickly reintegrate into mainstream society upon their discharge. “The lack thereof of rehabilitation programmes in addressing the plight of this bracket of vibrant youth calls for concern among stakeholders and policy makers” .
The Minister stated “The partnership of National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) and the Ghana Prisons Service to introduce this Flagship Policy initiative, with the primary objective of providing integrated National support for start-ups and small businesses in the prisons environment could not have come at a better time”.
Hon. Ambrose Dery further disclosed that, 860 inmates from five/5 prisons establishments would be initially enrolled onto the programme saying, it is his wish that, the programme would be extended to cover more inmates and prison establishments in the near future.


He added that, a sustainability plan which includes the training of 250 officers as facilitators, the provision of start-up packages for the beneficiary stations, and start-up packages for all beneficiary inmates upon their discharge have been put in place. “This will go a long way to ensure that each beneficiary prison establishment will gradually wean itself off support from the National Entrepreneurship programme, giving the inmates the opportunity to set up their own businesses immediately after their release”.
The Director General of Ghana Prisons Service, Mr. I.K Egyir commended the CEO of NEIP and its management team for introducing such a wonderful Initiative that would rid the inmates off criminal tendencies and prepare them towards contributing meaningfully to society upon discharge.
He emphasize that, contemporary prison management as practiced globally is now characterized by more emphasis on inmates rehabilitation as opposed to being an institution of only punishment.


“The contribution inmates rehabilitation makes to public safety through empowering them with vocational skills cannot be downplayed”.
The Deputy Minister of Finance responsible for Wealth Creation, Hon. Dr John Ampontua Kumah said,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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