OrderPaperToday – The Ministry of Interior and Head of Service of the federal government have kicked against the establishment of the Nigerian Peace Corps.
At a one day public hearing organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Interior, both government bodies argued that the functions of the corps are already being performed by the Nigeria Police and other existing paramilitary organizations.
According to the Legal Adviser to the Interior Ministry, Adebola Odugbesan, “the creation of the Nigerian Peace Corps is unnecessary considering the fact that its duties are vague and not specific.
“The Corps function as stated in the Bill are already been carried out by the Nigeria Police Force and other paramilitary under the interior ministry.”
He however expressed concerns about funding the Corps when established as about N21 billion would be needed to float it.
A representative of the Head of Service said government should rather strengthen the already existing paramilitary than creating new ones.
Defending the Bill for NPC establishment however, popular lawyer and social critic, Femi Falana said the Nigeria Police Force had earlier supported the establishment of the Corps on the ground that their duties are different from each other.
Earlier in his remark, Chairman of the House Committee on Interior, Adams Jagaban said it is imperative to note that the Nigeria Peace Corps will be more focused on volunteerism and selfless service to the nation where members will be readily available for deployment and posting to Conflict Areas and other Area of National Services.
On his part, National Commandant of the Corps, Dickson Akoh stated that the country have more reasons like the United States of America to transform the organization into a more acceptable government agency.
Akoh explained also that if the i is given statutory backing, it will adequately address youth unemployment and consequently handle issues relating to youth restiveness.
The Nigeria Peace Corps has been in existence since 1998 and so far over 113,822 staff officers and 78,247 volunteer corp members have been registered across the 36 States of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).