Akoh Urges Buhari to assent to Peace Corps Bill

Akoh Urges Buhari to assent to Peace Corps Bill

The National Commandant of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), Professor Dickson Akoh has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to a Bill for an Act that would make the organization a statutory body.

The Bill for an Act to Establish the Nigerian Peace Corps (NPC) was transmitted to the President for assent last week having been passed by the two Chambers of the National Assembly.

While briefing newsmen on the development in Abuja, Akoh said Buhari would bequeath a lasting parting gift to the Nigerian youth and would be remembered for good when he assents to the Bill.

Akoh explained that the entire contents of the Bill, especially the functions contained therein are a summation of inclusive empowerment programmes for the youth and on how to harness their innate potential for the overall tasks of nation-building.

According to him, the passage of the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill is not only timely, reassuring, and a renewed hope for the Nigerian youth, but also a pointer to the fact that the political elites are still very much conscious of the social challenges confronting the youth and therefore, passionate on proffering solutions to the challenges to same in order to place the youth in the front burner of our national life.

Akoh said to underscore the high level of acceptability of the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill, opinion polls conducted in 2017 by The Nation Newspaper, Naija.com, and Nigerian Television Authority (NTA-Good Morning Nigeria) revealed that 89%, 76%, and 97% respectively supported the establishment of the Nigerian Peace Corps.

He said: “Concerned with the increasing waves of unemployment and high level of poverty in the land, both past and present administrations initiated different intervention policies to mitigate these challenges.

“Some of these initiatives are Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P), You- Win, Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), N-Power, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), Government Intervention Funds (GIF), Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) and Social Safety Net (SSN).

“It is a proven fact and incontrovertible reality that once these ‘Financial Handouts’ are no longer forthcoming or delayed in coming, these same youths go back to the streets on protest or quickly revert to social ills and unproductive preoccupations, and even sometimes back-lashing the Government.

“However, it is advisable that a more robust, sustainable, and institutionalized approach be adopted to ensure the irreversibility of conditions and welfare status of our youths. In more developed economies, efforts are tailored towards the pre-occupation of the youths in productive ventures where they will be economically useful to themselves and the larger society.

“This is in addition to engaging them in moral, citizenship, and leadership training aimed at character building and their valuable participation in nation-building.

“In the United States of America, for instance, the American Peace Corps was created as an agency to promote World Peace and Friendship by training American youths as volunteers to perform social and humanitarian services overseas, including Nigeria.”

“The volunteers help communities in Developing Countries improve their Social and Economic conditions.

“The dynamic nature of insecurity in Nigeria today requires role differentiation as a panacea to expertise in addressing security challenges. It also requires multi- sectoral, multi- lateral and multi- dimensional approaches to tackle.

“In more advanced societies, Youth Based Organisations like the Nigerian Peace Corps, are established with the sole aim of engaging and pre-occupying the youths as a panacea to the social consequences of being unemployed.

“Similar organisations that exist in other parts of the world are: the American Peace Corps, Canadian Peace Corps, Bangladesh National Cadet Corps, Peace Officers Commission in China, Chinese Labour Corps, Lera Uniform Corps of Malaysia, Malaysian People Volunteer Corps, Production and Construction Corps of China.

“All these are consciously and deliberately designed to empower and socially pre-occupy the youths so that their state of idleness won’t be exploited adversely”.

Akoh thanked the leadership and entire members of the 9th National Assembly for the unanimous support given to his Organisation all through the legislative processes leading to the eventual passage of the Bill for an Act to Establish Nigerian Peace Corps.

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