The Senate Tuesday adopted the conference committee’s report on a bill to establish the Nigeria Peace Corps.
The committee was set up by both the Senate and House of Representatives to harmonise the versions of the bills passed by both chambers.
The House of Representatives adopted the same report on March 30, 2023.
The highlight of the adopted report is in clause 38 (1) of the version passed by the Senate, which is in conflict with the version passed by the House of Representatives as contained in clause 38 (1).
Whereas the Senate’s version seeks the dissolution of the existing Peace Corps of Nigeria and National Unity and Peace Corps’ the House of Representatives version solely recommends the dissolution of the existing Peace Corps of Nigeria to be transformed into the Nigerian Peace Corps when assented to by President Buhari.
However, the bill for an act to establish the Nigeria Peace Corps expressly provided under clause 38 (8) a window of opportunity for individuals, groups, associations or bodies that show or demonstrate interest to be absorbed as members of the corps shall be absorbed subject to the mandatory basic training and orientation programme of the corps as may be prescribed from time to time when the bill is signed into law.
The Nigeria Peace Corps (NPC) Establishment Bill passed in 2022 by the two chambers was sponsored by the chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, while that of the House of Representatives was sponsored by the Chief Whip, Mohammed Monguno.
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, neighbourhood watch, and nation-building.