dickson akoh

Full speech by Amb Dickson Akoh on the passage of Peace Corps bill into law

By Yemi Itodo

The National Commandant of the Nigerian Peace Corps, Dr Dickson Akoh on Thursday commended National Assembly over the passage of the Bill for an Act to establish the agency.

The Senate had early hours of Thursday read the Bill for the third time and finally passed it, in concurrence with the House of Representatives which had passed same earlier in the year.

Addressing Journalists shortly after the passage on Thursday, Akoh appreciated Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki; Speaker Yakubu Dogara and other members of National Assembly, for giving the Bill accelerated passage.

However, the Commandant expressed hope that President Muhammadu Buhari would grant speedy assent for proper implementation of the Bill.

Akoh explained that the Nigerian Peace Corps Act when assented to, would proffer solution to menace of unemployment in Nigeria.

“When assented to by Mr President, the Nigerian Peace Corps Act, from all intents and purposes, is the sure solution to the malaise of unemployment bedeviling Nigerian youths and it’s attendant social consequences on the nation as it will adequately empower, develop and provide alternative employment for the youths with a view to facilitating peace, volunterism, community services, nation-building and other related matters,” he explained.

The Commandant recalled that on 22nd September, 1961, the America Peace Corps Bill was passed into law by the US Congress to accomplish the Order #10924 of March 1, 1961 by President John F Kennedy.

“It is epochal and historic experience today (Thursday), 24th of November, 2016 for us all to witness the passage into law, a bill for an Act to establish the Nigerian Peace Corps by the Senate of Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he remarked.

When asked if the Nigerian Peace Corps would work with the National Unity and Peace Corps which Bill was merged with that of the Nigerian Peace Corps; Dr. Akoh said the agency when approved by the President, would accommodate any able youths who would be willing to undergo the orientation programme of Corps.

He however cleared the air that there was no ambiguity in Bill passed by the National Assembly; adding that the House of Representatives had earlier passed a Bill for the establishment of Nigerian Peace Corps and the Senate also acted in concurrence.

The passage of the Nigerian Peace Corps is coming 18 years after the Corps was formed by Amb. Dickson Akoh. It has trained and offered orientation to hundreds of thousands of Nugerain youths across the country.

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