Senate has passed Nigerian Peace Corps bill
The Senate on has passed the Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill, 2022.
The bill was adopted after consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on the Interior chaired by Senator Kashim Shettima.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Ali Ndume, seeks to give legal backing to the establishment of the Peace Corps as a government parastatal and allow its present officials to be absolved into the proposed organisation at commencement.
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The bill was passed by the 8th Senate in late 2017 but President Muhammadu Buhari declined assent to the legislation in February 2018, citing security concerns as one of the reasons for his decision.
He also cited the scarcity of funds and the overlapping duties of existing security organizations by the proposed body as his main reasons.
Ndume reintroduced the bill to the 9th Senate on December 17, 2019 and noted that core mandate of the corps is to develop, empower, and provide gainful employment for the youth to facilitate peace, volunteerism, community services, neighbourhood watch and nation-building.
The legislation, if passed, according to him, would give statutory backing to the existing Peace Corps of Nigeria, which currently has over 187,000 members, comprising regular staff and volunteers.
The Borno South Senator also said all the issues raised by President Buhari for withholding assent to the bill in the eighth Senate had been addressed in the new bill.
In his reaction, Nigerian Peace Corps National Commander Dickson Akoh welcomed this development.
He emphasized the need for all stakeholders to be engaged in national security.
He said the Corps will continue its advocacy to ensure that the Bill receive the concurrence of the House of Representatives and eventually assented to when transmitted to the President by the National Assembly.
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