A Digitally Bright Future After Prison

Some weeks back I had the opportunity to train inmates in Nigeria Prison Akure who got in due to cybercrimes and other internet-related fraud.

Cybercrimes are crimes that take place in cyberspace with the use of computers and the internet. It takes a youth with basic IT literacy to know the rudiments of cybercrime. Sadly, one of the most popular vices amongst the Nigerian youths is cybercrime and this has motivated me to reach out to the cybercrime inmates, to train them on data analysis using Excel, with the hope to give them a legitimate skill to earn a living from after prison time we can say a digitally bright future after prison.

There is a high rate of unemployment amongst Nigeria graduates. Data from Statista show the unemployment rate will continue to rise if the government and the private sector take concerted steps to create jobs for the teeming population. This situation has pushed many youths into illegal activities and cybercrimes to earn a comfortable living. Every year police raid popular hideouts of cybercriminals and occasionally work with Interpol to arrest them, resulting in a sizable population of prisoners serving time for cybercrimes. Unfortunately, some of these youths go back to the same cybercrime because that is the only tested skill they have to generate income.


Nigeria is the most populous black nation in the world with over 200 million people which includes large youth demography with strong digital skills and ideas. 

This project was aimed at reaching inmates in Nigerian prisons who are serving time for cybercrime and giving them a digitally bright future after prison. The reason for this choice of this specific target audience was that inmates spending time due to cybercrime already have commendable digital technology skills and best suited to learn a high-value digital skill like data analysis. A second reason for choosing Cybercrimes inmates was because most of their prison sentences are usually short, so they have a huge propensity to go back to society to commit the same offense that got them prison sentence and likely become a more hardened criminal.



Being a Microsoft certified data analyst and a trainer, I have always wanted to give back to the community but not any kind of community, I have always wanted to reach the unheard and forgotten with the knowledge I have.

Data being the new goldmine, with an ever-growing demand for data professionals all over the world, the need for data literate personnel keeps increasing. Today in every organization, there are roles for data analysts in charge of recording, analyzing, and managing all forms of data.

We at  UrBizEdge collaborated with a Christian body known as Believers Love World Ministries.
And with the vital help of the ministry, my organization was able to get access to the inmates who got in due to cybercrime and we were able to take them on a two-day course on “Data Analysis using Microsoft Excel”. With a certificate issued to the inmate at the end of the two days of training.



At first, I was scared as this would be my first time in any sort of prison, with the usual bad publicity online about the whole Nigeria prison system which is usually congested. To my huge surprise, I found the Akure Correctional Centre really clean with every inmate looking well cleaned and trimmed. This whole experience honestly reminded me of my old Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) hostel known as Akindeko hall.

I also felt welcomed by the prison warden and other staff of the facility, the security protocols were very stringent which made me uncomfortable at first because I have never been guarded by armed security men with big guns. Interactions with most inmates showed me there were really not many differences between the people within and outside the four walls of the prison as they seemed intellectually inclined and willing to learn, this touched me very much because I could only imagine how they would have turned out if this knowledge had been given earlier in their lives. 

At first, when we started the training the first day it was not going as planned; with a lot of crowds showing up but not all interested in the training, we had to separate the really interested ones from the others and focus on teaching them in a more engaging way. Luckily, more inmates showed new interest in learning this skill after I explained to them the importance of data analysis and how it is becoming one of the high-value professions in the world today. 

By the second day, the people who showed little or no interest at the beginning of the first day began asking several questions and even engaged the team on what they could do to earn gainful employment after their prison time.


At the end of the two days of intensive training, my colleague and I were shown the open university that had just been built and commissioned by Pastor EA Adeboye for the prison. The facilities looked really impressive even though donations are still needed for things like air conditioners, desktop computers, and more books to fill the library.


This project was an eye-opener, indeed, my perception of the Nigerian prison system has changed. The correctional systems are doing a lot to change the people to become responsible citizens capable of earning an honest living for themselves and who are no longer threats to society at large when they eventually get released. The prison wardens were all friendly and welcoming which made the whole process easy with no problems. 

The workshop and other self-improvement training to all the inmates in prison are a laudable initiative to better the lives of the inmates as it creates an opportunity for them to excel in the world outside the prison while keeping them actively engaged in value-adding activities during their stay in the prison.

I would encourage that more training on different fields should be planned and organized for the inmates as they would be a huge step in preparing them to be good members of society.

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