Akoh reacts as Reps pass Peace Corps Bill for third time

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By Yemi Itodo

National Commandant, Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), Professor Dickson Akoh, has commended the House of Representatives for passing the Peace Corps establishment Bill.

The lower chamber of the National Assembly, had, during the plenary on Thursday, passed a Bill for an Act to establish Nigerian Peace Corps.

Thursday’s passage of the Bill was the third attempt at pushing the establishment Bill to becoming law.

Recall that both chambers of the National Assembly had passed the Bill in the 8th and 9th sessions, but President Muhammad Buhari was unable to assent to it.

Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, RT. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, consequently reintroduced the Bill in the 10th Assembly on the 27th July, 2023.

The new Bill as regazetted, is titled: A Bill for an Act to Establish Nigerian Peace Corps, to facilitate Peace, Volunteerism, Community Services, Neighbourhood watch and Nation Building and for Related Matters (HB. 309 & 482) and for Related Matters (HB.98)

Majority Leader of the House, Professor Julius Ihonvbere, while supporting the Bill, said the Corps, when established would encourage volunteerism, and get a good number of Nigerian youths engaged, as well as reduce crime.

Reacting to the passage of the Bill shortly Thursday evening, Akoh hailed the speedy attention given to the popular and youth oriented Bill, saying, it showed the Nigeria’s populace is yearning for the establishment of the Corps.

He said, “this is the third time running that the House of Representatives is passing the Bill. It shows that there is merit, there is justification in what is before the National Assembly, as being capable of addressing the socioeconomic challenges confronting Nigerian youths.

“The fact that the functions being given to the Nigerian Peace Corps will also add value to the security architecture in Nigeria, so we thank God that the Bill was passed, in it will rekindle the hope of the vast majority of our members.

“We remain eternally grateful to the House of Representatives for the expeditious manner they handled the Bill under the leadership of RT. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas. We are grateful to his leadership and the entire members of the National Assembly”.

Akoh recalled that last attempt which did not get assent of former President Buhari was not because of any identified issues in the Bill, but that it was transmitted close to the exit of his tenure.

In the coming days, the Bill would be forwarded to the Senate for concurrence, as it requires no much legislative procedures, having been passed repeatedly in the past seasons.

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