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A senator has reintroduced the Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill.

The bill was one of the six bills read for the first time at plenary on Tuesday. It is sponsored by Borno senator, Ali Ndume.

It was passed by the National Assembly in 2017.

The bill was in December 2017 passed by the National Assembly and sent to President Muhammadu Buhari by the Clerk to the National Assembly, Sani Omolori.

The president, in February 2018, however, refused to sign it into law.

The bill seeks to turn the Peace Corps, currently a non-governmental organisation, into a government paramilitary agency.

The law sought to give legal backing to the establishment of the Peace Corps as a government parastatal, and allow all serving members of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, both regular and volunteers, to be absolved into the proposed organisation at commencement.

In separate letters to the Senate and House of Representatives, Mr Buhari cited security concerns amongst reasons for his decision.

He also cited the paucity of funds and duplication of duties of existing security agencies by the proposed corps as his main reasons.

The bill was supported by many Nigerians who believe the creation of the corps will partly address the nation’s unemployment crisis. Others, however, criticised the bill as unnecessary.

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Some lawmakers had planned to veto the president’s rejection.

However, an attempt to override the president’s veto of the bill failed in the House of Representatives in May 2018.

With the reintroduction of the bill, lawmakers are expected to debate the provisions of the bill all over again. And should the National Assembly pass it, it will be transmitted again to the president for assent.

It is, however, not clear if Mr Buhari will assent to it.


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