Again, Senate Passes Peace Corps Bill, Seeks President’s Immediate Assent
For the second time in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate has passed the Peace Corps Bill.
The bill was passed by the eighth Senate in late 2017 but Buhari declined assent to the legislation in February 2018, forcing threats from the senate that the upper legislative chamber will override his veto.
The president had cited security concerns, paucity of funds and duplication of duties of existing security agencies for rejecting the bill.
Senator Ali Ndume reintroduced the bill to the ninth Senate on December 17, 2019.
He said the bill seeks to give legal backing to the establishment of the Peace Corps as a government parastatal and allow its members to be absorbed into the proposed organisation when it commences operations.
Although Peace Corps of Nigeria currently has over 187,000 members comprising regular staff and volunteers, it has no legal backing and has been having running battle with existing security agencies, a situation Ndume said will be solved once it’s signed into law.
The Senate had considered a report of the Senate Committee on Interior, which conducted public hearings and other legislative works on the bill before the latest passage.
The lawmakers consequently called on the president to quickly assent to it as all concerns raised were addressed before passage.