By Ononye VC

The Senate yesterday passed the Nigerian Peace Corps following the consideration of a report by the Committee on Interior.A member of the committee, Senator Sulieman Sadiq Umar, who made the presentation on behalf of the chairman, Kashim Shettima, said the bill sought to empower, develop and provide gainful employment for the youths, facilitate peace, volunteerism, community services, neighbourhood watch and nation-building.The Senate had in 2017 passed the Peace Corps Bill, but President Muhammadu Buhari declined assent in 2018, citing security concern, lack of funds and duplication of functions of existing security agencies.Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South), who reintroduced the bill in 2019, said the president’s concern had been addressed in the new bill.If assented to by the president, the legislation would give legal backing to the existing Peace Corps of Nigeria, which currently has over 187,000 members, comprising regular staff and volunteers.Addressing journalists after the passage of the bill, National Commandant, Peace Corps of Nigeria, Dickson Akoh, expressed optimism that Buhari would assent to the bill since all the gray areas had been addressed.Meanwhile, the Senate also passed the Nigerian Hunters Council Bill. Senator Suleiman Sadiq Umar said the Nigerian Hunters Council, when established, would prevent and detect crimes and illegal activities going on in the country’s forests.He said the council would work with the police and other security agencies to make available any relevant information on criminals’ encroachment as well as partner with relevant stakeholders on community policing.

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