President Muhammadu Buhari has withheld his assent on the Peace Corps of Nigeria Establishment Bill recently passed by the National Assembly.
His rejection was contained in a communication to the legislature read by Speaker Yakubu Dogara at plenary on Tuesday.
The president given “scarce government resources”, funding the organisation will be a financial burden on the federal government.
Buhari said further in the letter that the organisation is a duplication of existing security agencies.
He said the bill seeks to empower the peace Corps to undertake activities currently being performed by extant security and law enforcement agencies. The Peace Corps of Nigeria Bill has a long history with the formal procedure. It was first represented in the House of Representatives in November 2016. In December 2016, the special committee managed to harmonize this bill. On January 2017, the Bill was adopted by the House of Representatives. The Senate adopted the Bill in July 2017 and it was passed after a prolonged battle involving the organisation and the nation’s security agencies.
The bill has been widely anticipated by many Nigerians, especially the youth who believe creation of the corps will reduce unemployment.
As at the time of filing this report, the National Assembly is yet to make its position known on whether it will veto the president’s assent or allow the bill to die naturally, as the Senate adjourned plenary on Tuesday to allow for APC’s NEC meeting.