Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The National Assembly yesterday passed a bill creating a new security outfit, the Nigeria Peace Corps.
Speaking after the Senate passed the bill into law, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said passing the bill would foster security and peace in the country as he expressed hopes that the forthcoming agency would be efficient in providing peace and security in the face of rising security in the country. He also said it would create employment for Nigerian youths.
Presenting report on the bill, Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Usman Nafada, said after conducting a public hearing on the bill, the committee resolved that the corps should be domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Interior.
He also recommended that the head of the corps be referred to as Commandant General, with six Deputy Commandant Generals and six Assistant Commandant Generals drawn from the six geopolitical zones of the country in reflection of the federal character principle of the country.
Nafada said the organisation would be of great benefit to the Nigerian youths, adding that all the agencies that opposed the establishment of the agency now did same when the National Assembly passed the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
“Majority of the stakeholders supported the passage of the Bills on the notion that the delivery of security services was exclusively the preserve of the military and other conventional security agencies.
“They however observed that in response to increasing complexity of the factors responsible for insecurity and the method by which peace and security is being undermined in Nigeria, there is need to develop comprehensive, multi sectorial, and inclusive approaches in order to stem the threat,” he said.
He added that in the memoranda of understanding and oral submissions by the agencies and stakeholders invited to the public hearing, majority endorsed the establishment of the corps, but the Nigerian Police Force and the Department of State Service (DSS) rejected the agency.
The objectives of the corps include redirecting the creative potentials of the youths towards patriotic services and nation building through citizenship and leadership training.
Others are combat all forms of social decadence in educational institutions in order to create a peaceful and conducive environment for learning, as well as creating a reservoir of trained personnel and volunteers of diverse qualifications to serve as spring board for easy accessibility of manpower whenever there is need for this in the country.
The corps also intend to build capacity of the youths in the areas of creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and skill acquisition.