The President of the Senate and Chairman of the National Assembly, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has spoken further on the reason the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill 2016 was passed into law by both chambers of the National Assembly, this year.
Speaking at the end of the year ceremony/gala night organised by the Peace Corps of Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday, Saraki said, though there were a lot of other Bills that the National Assembly passed in 2016, the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill was outstanding, saying both chambers of the National Assembly took into cognizance, the socio-economic benefits of the Bill to Nigerians, especially the youths.
“I believe that, after the Appropriation Act that was passed, the next most important Bill that was passed by the National Assembly was the Peace Corps Bill,” he said.
The Senate President who was represented by the Senate Committee Chairman on Interior, Senator Bayero Usman Nafada, also said that the process of harmonization of the Bill by the joint committees of both chambers has also been completed, adding that “the Bill is now ready for the President’s assent.”
He,therefore, urged the executive arm of government to give the Bill the necessary attention it requires, as the Nigerian youths earnestly wait for positive response from the federal government.
Responding, the Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Barr. Solomon Dalung said his ministry would gladly work with the Peace Corps Officers after the President’s approval.
Dalung noted that the youths of Nigeria had long be neglected and the establishment of the Nigerian Peace Corps would help rejuvenate the position of the youths in the education system and youths development.
“There was a time when a youth leader of a political party was 62 years. That means, me that is 52 years old now, would still be a youth in ten years to come “, the Minister fumed.
While charging the youths to take advantage of the orientation programmes of the corps and be integrated into the scheme, Barr. Dalung also promised to do all within his capacity to facilitate the signing of the Peace Corps Bill into law.
In his welcome address, the National Commandant of Peace Corps, Amb (Dr.) d!ckson Akoh, on behalf of the entire Staff Officers, expressed, “appreciation to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara; Principal Officers and the entire members of the National Assembly, for ensuring that this all-important Bill got an accelerated passage.”
Dr. Akoh assured Nigerians that the corps will adequately empower, develop and provide alternative employment for the youths with a view to facilitating peace, volunteerism, community services, nation-building and other related matters, when signed into law.
“We are confident that, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari will grant a speedy assent to this Bill, even as we are mindful of the present excruciating economic realities confronting our beloved country,” he added.
Highlights of the event was the colourful Christmas Carol performance by the Peace Band; Keynote Address by Femi Falana (SAN); unveiling of the 2017 Peace Corps Calender; presentation of Senior Advocate of Peace (SAP) Awards and International Peace Medal (IPM) Awards to the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief of Army Staff, governors, members of the National Assembly, Traditional Rulers and Captains of Industry.