The National Assembly has kick-started the process of transmitting to the Presidency the Bill for an Act to establish the Nigeria Peace Corps with final harmonization of the Bill by the two Chambers.
The House of Representatives took the lead by constituting a six-man Conference Committee that would work with their Senate counterpart to harmonise and produce a clean copy of the Bill for onward transmission to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.
Members of the House Conference Committee are Hon Babangida Ibrahim (Chairman) Hon Tijani Kayode Ismail, Hon Chinedu Ogah, Hon Ibrahim Umar Potiskum, Hon Abdulmumini Are and Hon Legor Idegbo as members.
On its part, the Senate’s Committee members
Senator Kashim Shettima, Chairman while
Senator Abba Moro, Senator Betty Apiafi, Senator Oriolowo Adelere, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe and Senator Seriake Dickson are members.
The Conference Committee members are expectedly to look at discrepancies and harmonize them before forwarding the clean copy to the Presidency.
It will be recalled that the Nigeria Peace Corps (NPC) Establishment Bill passed in 2022 by the two Chambers was sponsored by the Chairman, Senate Committee of the Nigerian Army, Senator Ali Ndume while that of the House of Representatives was sponsored by the Chief Whip, Rt Hon Mohammed Monguno as HB17
Sources at the National Assembly confided in our correspondent that the harmonization would be completed before the National Lawmakers proceed on campaign recess next week.
One of the Lawmakers who did not want his name mentioned said that the harmonized copy of the Bill would reach President Buhari’s table early enough so as to quicken Presidential Assent to it.
The Bill, among others, seeks to establish the Nigerian Peace Corps as a body charged with the responsibility to develop, empower and provide gainful employment to youths, facilitate peace, volunteerism,, Community Service, Neighborhood Watch and Nation building.
According to part Vlll of the passed Bill, when assented to by President Buhari, would give statutory backing to the existing Peace Corps of Nigeria.
The Peace Corps of Nigeria established over 24 years ago under the National Commandant, Professor Dickson Ameh Akoh is Incorporated in Nigeria under the Company and Allied Matters (CAMA) Act and accorded the Federal Government recognition through the Federal Ministry of Youth Development.
Due to the value driven programs of the Corps, aimed at the socio-economic empowerment of the Nigerian youths and its onerous contributions to peace building and advocacy, the United Nations in 2011 accorded the organization a Special Consultative Status while the African Union in 2016 accorded same status to the organization, thus, making it a member of the Social and Economic Councils of both the United Nations and the African Union.
So far, the organization has a well structured network of offices in the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory FCT..
It has a membership strength of over 187,000 comprising of both regular staff and volunteers.
For the landmark achievements and accomplishments of the organization thus far, the Corps and its National Commandant have received over 110 Awards Nationally and Internationally.