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Peace Corps On Course To Attain Core Mandate of Youth Development – Commandant

Peace Corps on course to attain core mandate of youth development –Commandant

By Admin

May 24, 2022

The Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), is fully on course towards attaining its core mandate of empowering, developing and providing gainful employment for youths, its Commandant, Prof. Dickson Akoh, has said.

Akoh spoke on Tuesday, during a ceremony to unveil the 24th Anniversary Logo and official launch of the Fund Fair Card in preparation of the Corps 24th Anniversary/2022 Founder’s Day Celebration in Abuja.

He also reiterated the commitment of the corps to facilitating peace, volunteerism, community service, neighbourhood watch, as well as nation-building.

The commandant, however, said achieving all these tasks had not been without its challenges.

“Looking back at the journey so far, I am moved to acknowledge here that in spite of the daunting institutional and foundational challenges that we have encountered in the past, the Peace Corps of Nigeria has recorded monumental achievements.

“Fundamental of all these achievements, is that the Peace Corps of Nigeria has transformed from an organisation of a handful passionate youths in 1998, into a body today with membership strength of over 187,000 youths, comprising regular members and volunteers.

“This organisation has recorded tremendous successes alongside national and international recognitions, aside being accorded Federal Government’s recognition through the Federal Ministry of Youth Development.

“The United Nations and African Union, have both accorded Peace Corps of Nigeria their respective Special Consultative Status,’’ he stated.

Akoh described the passage of a Bill for an Act to Establish the Nigerian Peace Corps by the 8th National Assembly in order to give it statutory backing as “the mother of all achievements so far.”

“The bill, which was overwhelmingly passed by the 8th Assembly, sought to give statutory backing to the activities of PCN. Furthermore, the bill was re-introduced by the 9th Assembly.

“While the senate recently passed the bill, same bill is at the level of 3rd Reading in the House of Representatives for the Clause-By-Clause Considerations.

“In view of the aforementioned, I can boldly say with a profound sense of responsibility that this organisation is fully on course towards attaining its core mandate.’’

The commandant expressed hope that the bill would be passed as soon as possible to enable PCN do more for the development of the country as its present status of sourcing funds to run operations was hampering its optimal performance.

He said: “It is pertinent for me to inform you at this juncture that since its inception, the Peace Corps of Nigeria has not received a single penny as grant from either the government or any local or international corporate organisation to fund its activities.

“So far and so good, all the landmark achievements being recorded by the corps, including the establishment of our network of branches nationwide; the training and re-training of our officers and members, the events we have either organised or attended locally and internationally; our medical outreaches, among several other voluntary community support programmes; etc, are all mainly products of internally generated income in line with Article 18 of our Constitution.’’

“However, it may interest you to know that our Annual Fund Fair is the major avenue we have used over the years to generate the needed resources to finance our activities.

”Through this, we solicit the generous intervention of people of goodwill, who voluntarily and painlessly support us with their tokens, and the fair has been rightly described as the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving.’’

According to Akoh, it was in view of the foregoing, and the need to sustain the humanitarian and charitable activities of PCN that the corps was appealing to all stakeholders and the public to support the 2022 Fund Fair, to enable it continue with its volunteerism, humanitarian services and youth empowerment.

Speaking at the event, Sen. George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, congratulated the commandant, and the entire officers and men of the corps on its 24 years of service.

Akume said though PCN was a pet project of Akoh, its activities across Nigeria, and its voluntary services over the years, had drawn public support for it to be given a place as a public entity.

Sen. Akume saluted the courage of officers and men of PCN over the years, and charged them to continue in one spirit, so as to take the corps to its most enviably height, which is the passage and assent of the Nigerian Peace Corps Act.

According to the minister, once that is done, the names of all officers and men, struggling now to attain this height, would be written in gold.

Akume therefore, encouraged them not to relent in the onerous task of building the nation, empowering the youth, and rendering voluntary services to better the country.

The Corps has carefully selected the theme for this year’s celebration as, “2023 General Elections: The Role of Youth in Security and Peace building.’’ , which Akoh said was aimed at encouraging full participation of youths in the electoral processes, and discouraging acts of using the youths as vehicles of thuggery and election violence.

On her part, President National Council of Women Societies in Nigeria, Hajia Lami Adamu Lua noted that the Corps activities are very visible, and needs government urgent attention.

Hajia Adamu stressed that the theme of the celebration is apt at this very time the nation is in its political era, “our children needs to be protected from being used as thugs in the forthcoming elections, urging the government to meet the demands of ASUU so that children can go back to school.

She added that the government should do well to pass the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill so as to give the PCN the needed platform to continue in the good work its currently doing in the country

Splashnewsng reports that the organisation currently has a well-structured network of branches in the 36 sates of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

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