Mr Kefas Ropshik, Chairman, Kefiano Global Concept, on Monday paid N1 million as fines to help 43 inmates of Jos Prison to regain their freedom.
Ropshik, a philanthropist, paid the fines and compensation of the convicts who had been wallowing in the overstretched prison facility for their inability to pay.
Speaking at the event, Ropshik said that he was moved to give back to the society by assisting the needy.
He said that he had a passion to help people who are helpless like widows, the sick and under-privileged in the society.
Ropshik said it was human to give inmates a second chance by helping them, as they ended up in prison for different reasons.
‘‘As a Christian, I am moved by what the Bible admonished us to do; to assist the needy and visit those in prison.
‘‘I want those who are privileged like government appointees to step in and assist because you must not be a millionaire and a billionaire before you can do charity work,’’ he said.
The chairman advised inmates not to see their incarceration as a punishment, but a way of correcting their mistakes.
‘‘The prison is meant to be a correction centre and not a punishment centre, and I believe some of you made corrections within the period that you have been here.
‘‘I believe you will not repeat whatever took you here, because I am going to be happier if you leave today and become better people in the society.
‘‘I want to promise here that those inmates who have acquired skills while here, I will give them materials to start up their businesses in the next set that will be freed,’’ he said.
Ropshik said that such assistance would help them not to go back to crimes and not be a nuisance to the society.
He also promised to pay the registration fees for inmates that might be writing Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) as a way of encouraging them.
Mr Daniel Naanlong, member representing Mikang Constituency in the Plateau House Assembly, thanked Ropshik for the gesture.
Naanlong appealed to the freed inmates not to indulge in criminal acts that would return them to prison.
‘‘We will be happy to see you someday to remind us that I was one of those that was freed by the philanthropist.
‘‘We will be happy to see you doing well in the society,’’ he said.
Mr Noel Ailewon, Controller, Jos Prison, while commending Ropshik for his kindness, called on other well meaning Nigerians to emulate him.
Ailewon, who was represented by the Welfare Officer of Jos Prison, Mr Pius Pokyes, said the prison was in dire need of such assistance as government alone could not do it.
He said there were no fewer than 1,080 inmates in the prison.
‘‘We spend about N15,000 a day for drinking water alone, and as I speak, some of the inmates sleep on bare floor because we don’t have beds for them,’’ he said. (NAN)