April 14, 2023

NASS forwards Peace Corps Bill to Buhari for assent


National Assembly

The National Assembly has forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent , the  harmonised version of the bill on Nigerian Peace Corps.

This was after passage  by both the Senate and the House of Representatives .

Transmission of the bill for Presidential assent by the Clerk to the National Assembly ( CNA), Sani Tambuwal as gathered by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was done this week through a letter written to that effect .

The letter according to an authoritative source in the National Assembly on Thursday, written on the letter head of the CNA, was dated April 12 and directly addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Three copies of the authenticated copies of the bills, the source added,  were forwarded to the President for assent , one of which is expected to be retained by him and the other two sent back to the National Assembly for further action .

In line with provisions of the 1999 Constitution, President Buhari is expected to assent to the bill on or before  May 11 when 30 days window given for such important action must have been exploited.

The Bill, if assented to, the existing Peace Corps of Nigeria that had been operating on template of volunteerism over the years, will now be Federal Government owned and funded Agency in the name of Nigeria Peace Corps.

On April 12, 2022, the bill passed third reading after Sadiq Umar, chairman of the senate committee on interior, presented a report.

The bill is being sponsored by Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno north.

While presenting the report on the floor of the senate on Tuesday, Umar said his committee received “hundreds of memoranda” from stakeholders who are supporting the passage of the legislation.

The senator said the bill, if passed and assented to by the president, would help tackle rising unemployment in the country.

After presenting his report, the senate went into the “committee of the whole” where they considered and passed 40 sections of the bill.

NAN reports that in 2018, President Buhari rejected the bill, citing security concerns and financial burden of funding the organisation.

But Ndume reintroduced the bill in 2019, arguing that the concerns raised by Buhari had been addressed in the new bill.

The bill passed first reading not long after the ninth national assembly led by Senate President Ahmad Lawan was inaugurated. (NAN)