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7 Mar 2018

Senate urges Buhari to sign Peace Corps Bill, or risk being vetoed

The Senate on Wednesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to review his position in withholding assent on the bill to establish Peace Corps of Nigeria.

This followed the adoption of a Point of Order raised by Senator Dino Melaye during plenary.

Relying on the Senate rules, Melaye urged the Senate to revisit the bill with a view to veto the President if he fails to rescind his rejection of the bill.

President Buhari had cited duplication of duty and funding challenges in declining assent to the Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill, 2017 recently passed by the National Assembly.

However, Melaye said Buhari should give the bill a priority.

“The same thing happened when the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps was to be established; there was also the same complaint that there was no money and all of that.

“But today, we can see the advantages of the civil defence and how they have helped in safeguarding government infrastructure.

“About $5.5bn was borrowed from euro bond; what part of it will the youths of this country benefit from?

“About $1bn is to be spent on security and how does this affect the youth of this country.

“Without fear or favour, the Peoples Democratic Party, in 16 years, borrowed N6tn and this government in three years, has borrowed N11tn but there is no specific programme that will empower the youth.

“Also, N500bn was earmarked for the social investment programme of the Federal Government, but we have not seen any impact.

“If the Peace Corps is given an opportunity to exist, thousands will be employed and this will help to fight unemployment in this country.

“We may need to write Mr. President to review his position; if not, we have the power on behalf of the Nigerian youths who voted us to veto him so that people will become the ultimate beneficiaries of this bill.

“The youth of this country must be given priority and they must be respected,’’ Melaye said. (NAN)

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