NASS sends Peace Corps Bill to Buhari for second time

THE National Assembly has forwarded the harmonised version of the Peace Corps Bill to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

The ICIR reports that it is the second time the bill will await the President’s assent, which, expectedly, will make the Federal Government fund and own the volunteer corps.

Before his re-election in 2019, the President had rejected the bill in 2018, citing financial constraints and security challenges.

He had said due to “scarce resources”, funding the organisation would impose a financial burden on the Federal Government.

The ICIR further reports that the Peace Corps of Nigeria was established in 1998 by a youth development advocate and strategist, Dickson Akoh.

Akoh has spent decades pushing for government funding and ownership of the corps.

He has severally argued that the organisation would support the nation’s security architecture in facing the challenges of terrorism and other forms of criminality.

He also noted that the organisation would provide jobs for teeming youths in the country.

Akoh, who has led the corps since its inception, is also ready to relinquish his position should the government accept to own the organisation.

Currently running its offices across Nigeria, the corps is funded largely by private organisations and individuals who engage its services.

Thousands of its volunteers also hope that the President assent to the bill to enable the corps to enjoy government ownership like the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, which the government took over after a similar law signed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.






     

     

    The Punch reported that the Clerk to the National Assembly, Magaji Tambuwal, transmitted the bill to the President through a letter on Wednesday, April 12.

    The transmission followed the adoption of the report of the conference committee set up by both chambers of the National Assembly to harmonise the bill last Tuesday.

    In April 2022, The ICIR reported how the Senate passed the bill.

    Sponsored by Ali Ndume, a Senator, the bill seeks to empower and provide employment for youths and facilitate peace, volunteerism, community service and nation-building.

    Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's The ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022 and has been the organisation's News Editor since September 2022. Contact him via email @ [email protected].

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