Just In: Reps move to pass Peace Corps Bill - AMEBO ONLINE NEWSPAPER

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Just In: Reps move to pass Peace Corps Bill

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The House of Representatives has begun moves to concur with its counterpart in the Senate by passing the Bill for an Act to establish the Nigerian Peace Corps amid raging insecurity in both public and private schools in the country.

The Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Ado Doguwa, who gave the assurance during a courtesy visit by a delegation of the Corps in Abuja disclosed that apart from checking the increasing cases of insecurity affecting the institutions, it would help in reducing the unemployment rate in the country.

He assured that the bill would come to the floor of the House in his name and that since it had been passed in the Senate, there would be an automatic passage at the House.


 
The lawmaker commended the efforts of the management of the Peace Corps of Nigeria over its consistency to have legal backing, saying it gladdened its heart that despite challenges over the years, the Corps sustained its efforts and never give up.

According to him, “we cannot afford to miss this Bill because this is one of the important organisations at this particular and critical time. We have young men and women readily available to give their lives for the protection of lives, why should we play with them?

“I don’t think any serious leader will take this Bill for granted. We will not take it for granted. Just know that this Bill will see the light of the day,” the lawmaker noted.

He added that the organization had provided support to security agencies and educational institutions in addressing cultism, unemployment and insecurity.

Earlier, the National Commandant of the Corps, Prof. Dickson Akoh, had pointed out that the Bill had already been passed by the Senate two months ago and should have been committed to the Committee of the Whole, but it had suffered several setbacks.


 
Akoh explained that the Bill had passed through third reading, and was stepped down after it was scheduled and appealed for the intervention of the Majority Leader, adding that the insecurity and unemployment situation in the country warranted the urgent passage of the bill.

Akoh admitted that the issues that prevented President Muhammadu Buhari from assenting to the bill had been adequately addressed and urged members of the Corps across the country to be patient and committed to activities that would engender continued peace and development in the Country.

It would be recalled that the Senate had earlier passed the bill sponsored by a Borno senator, Ali Ndume, who sought legal backing for the establishment of the Peace Corps as a government parastatal and allow its members to be absorbed into the proposed organisation at the commencement.

The Bill was passed by the eighth National Assembly in 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 had also cited paucity of funds and duplication of duties of existing security agencies by the proposed corps as his main reasons but Ndume reintroduced the bill to the ninth Senate on December 17, 2019.

And during the second reading of the bill in December 2020, the lawmaker said the 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.

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