The Senate on this Tuesday adopted the report of the Conference Committee set up with the House of Representatives to harmonize the ‘Bill for an Act to establish the Nigeria Peace Corps’.
The Conference Committee set up earlier in the year by both the Senate and House of Representatives completed its assignment on Wednesday last week.
The House of Representatives had adopted the report on Thursday, March 3o, 2023.
A harmonized report of the Conference Committee which was laid and adopted by the Senate in plenary on Tuesday showed the upper chamber adopted the version of the Bill as passed by the House of Representatives.
The highlight of the adopted report is clause 38 (1) of the version passed by the Senate which conflicts with the version passed by the House of Representatives as contained under clause 38 (1).
Whereas the Senate version seeks the dissolution of the existing Peace Corps of Nigeria and National Unity and Peace Corps, the House of Representatives version solely recommended the dissolution of the existing Peace Corps of Nigeria to be transformed into the Nigerian Peace Corps when assented to President Buhari.
The Conference report clarified that for a Bill to become an Act of Parliament in Nigeria, it must pass through the two chambers of the National Assembly, a criterion which the National Unity and Peace Corps Bill could not attain because it was never debated unlike that of the Peace Corps of Nigeria debated and passed by the two chambers.
However, the Bill for an Act to establish the Nigeria Peace Corps expressly provides under clause 38 (8) a window of opportunity for individuals, groups, associations or bodies that show or demonstrate interest to be absorbed as members of the Corps and shall be absorbed subject to the mandatory basic training and orientation program of the Corps as may be prescribed from time to time when the Bill is signed into law.
Members of the Senate Committee are: Senator Kashim Shettima, chairman; Senator Abba Moro, member; Senator Betty Apiafi, member; Senator Oriolowo Adelere, member; Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, member and
Senator Seriake Dickson, member.
Members of the House Conference Committee are Hon Babangida Ibrahim, chairman; Hon Tijani Kayode Ismail, Hon Chinedu Ogah, Hon Ibrahim Umar Potiskum, Hon Abdulmumini Are and Hon Legor Idegbo as members.