The Nigerian Senate has passed the Nigerian Peace Corps bill for final reading to provide the body with ‘a stronger framework’. Senators said there was the need to use the outfit to better protect Nigerian security and therefore approved a bill for the establishment of the Nigerian Peace Corps as an agency under the Ministry of Interior.
Chairman, Committee on Interior, Senator Bayero Nafada (APC, Gombe) explained the importance of the bill thus: “The organisation will be of great benefit to the Nigerian youths (because) in response to increasing complexity of the factors responsible for insecurity and the method by which peace and security is being undermined in Nigeria, there is need to develop comprehensive, multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholders and inclusive approaches in order to stem these threats.”
The committee also recommended that the Nigerian Peace Corps and the National Unity and Peace Corps should be merged since both formations appear the same. The Senate had at its sitting on Thursday, March 10, 2016 debated on the general principles of the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill, 2016 (SB.173) sponsored by Senator Ali Ndume and the National Unity and Peace Corps Bill, 2016 (SB.183) sponsored by Senator Binta Garba Masi and referred it to the committee for further legislative action. The Nigerian Peace Corps Bill, among others, seeks to empower, develop and provide gainful employment for the youths, to facilitate Peace, Volunteerism, Community Services, Neighbourhood Watch and Nation-building.
As recommended, the Head of the Corps shall be referred to as Commandant-General (CG) with 6 Deputy Commandant – General (DCGs) and 6 Assistant Commandant – General (ACGs), drawn from the 6 geopolitical zones which should reflect the Federal Character principle.