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Absence of Committee Chairman obstructs passage of Peace Corps Bill

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A Bill for an Act to establish the Nigerian Peace Corps (NPC) and Nigeria Unity and Peace Corps could not be passed by the Senate on Thursday.

The bill which seeks among other things, the establishment of the Nigerian Peace Corps as an agency under the Ministry of Interior had successfully passed through the second reading and the Senate Committee on Interior was subsequently mandated to carry out public hearings and recommend to the Senate appropriately.

When the Bill was, however, called on Thursday for consideration and passage, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Bayero Nafada (Gombe North) was unavoidably absent.

Though Senator Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa West) read the report on behalf of the committee, he was not able to answer questions emanating from the observations raised by some Senators during the clause-by-clause considerations of the Bill on the committee of the whole.

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, therefore, ruled that the passage of the Bill be stepped down, pending the arrival of the committee Chairman and to enable the committee rework some clauses before consideration.

Though the committee undertook legislative actions on 2 main Bills, the Nigerian Peace Corps (NPC) Bill, 2016 (SB. 173) and Nigeria Unity and Peace Corps (NUPC) Bill (SB. 183); it, however, recommended that since the objectives of the 2 Bills are the same, both shall be known as Nigerian Peace Corps Act 2016, when passed to law.

The committee also recommended that the NPC shall be governed by a Commandant-General (CG) with 6 Deputy Commandants-General (DCGs), one for each of the 6 geopolitical zones in Nigeria and 7 Assistant Commandants-General (ACGs).

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