Reps Pass Peace Corps Bill

The House of Representatives has ignored protests by security agencies, particularly the Nigeria Police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, to pass a Bill to establish the Nigerian Peace Corps.

The Votes and Proceedings of the House, which The PUNCH obtained in Abuja on Sunday, showed that lawmakers endorsed the 45-clause report on the Bill, setting it up for concurrence by the Senate.

“The Bill sailed through on Thursday, last week; a new organization legally-backed by the Federal Government is underway.

The Bill was sponsored by an All Progressives Congress lawmaker from Kebbi State, Rt Hon. Abdullahi Umar-Farouk.

However, during the public hearing held on the Bill by the House Committee on Interior, the police, NSCDC and other security agencies vehemently opposed the idea of legalizing the Peace Corps.

They claimed that they would duplicate the duties of existing agencies.

But, the report of the committee to the House indicated otherwise.

The report, which was defended by the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Jagaba Adams-Jagaba, stated that majority of the stakeholders, who presented memoranda at the hearing, supported the corps.

According to him, “90 memoranda” were received on the Peace Corps Bill, besides other contributions from members of the public.

The report noted that, apart from the police and the NSCDC especially, the stakeholders generally expressed support for the Bill.

“Stakeholders were unanimous in their support for the Nigerian Peace Corps, saying when established, it would complement efforts of other security agencies and enhance youth empowerment,” it added.

Culled from The PUNCH.