A bill seeking to establish the Nigeria Peace Corps has been passed by the Senate.
The bill being sponsored by Ali Ndume passed the first reading shortly after the ninth national assembly led by Senate President Ahmad Lawan was inaugurated, then passed the second reading in December 2020.
It passed the third reading after Sadiq Umar, chairman of the senate committee on interior, presented a report.
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.
According to the senator, the bill would help tackle rising unemployment in the country if passed and assented to by the president.
The bill will be sent to the house of representatives for concurrence before it is submitted to the president for assent.
Recall that during the eight assembly chaired by Senator Bukola Saraki the bill was shrouded with controversy.
In 2017, the police said “terrorist affiliates” had infiltrated the corps to “destroy the existing peace currently being enjoyed in the country”.
The police said this shortly after the Department of State Services (DSS) raided the national headquarters of the corps in Abuja and arrested Dickson Akoh, Commandant-General, alongside over 40 members of the organisation.
In 2018, President Muhammadu 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.