The President also visited the palace of the Emir of Kano where he had nice words about the people of the state and their support for him.
Buhari said the release of the prisoners was part of the government's policy to decongest prisons across the country.
Barely 12 hours to the commencement of President Muhammadu Buhari's two-day official visit to Kano, the government has beefed up security, with many security agents manning strategic areas of the city.
Buhari pledged that prison reforms and decongestion would continue to receive prompt attention from his administration.
"This building in front of us was built since 1910".
He charged them to engage in lawful ventures to enable them to become useful members of the society.
Buhari also gave the inmates an undisclosed amount of money to be shared as transport fare to their respective towns and villages.
He was received by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State and the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II.
Buhari is expected to commission some projects in the state during the visit.
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Many of our players were there in 2013, at the same time our fast bowling unit is much better now and will do a lot of damage. So we are trying to improve ourselves and eventually results will come", he added further.