President Muhammadu Buhari has declined his assent to the Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill passed by the National Assembly in 2017.
In a letter read by the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesday, Mr. Buhari cited security concerns and financial implications amongst reasons for his decision.
According to the President, given scarce government resources, funding the organisation will be a financial burden on the federal government.
The bill had in late December 2017 arrived the Presidency for possible assent after it was transmitted to President Buhari by the Clerk to the National Assembly, Sani Omolori.
The Senate had passed the bill on November 25, 2016, shortly after the House of Representatives passed the same bill.
A conference committee of both chambers was inaugurated on December 8, 2016, to harmonise the bill. The House of Representatives laid and adopted its conference report on January 19, 2017, while the Senate adopted its report on July 25, 2017.
The law sought to give legal backing to the establishment of peace Corps as a government parastatal, and allow all serving members of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, both regular and volunteers, to be absolved into the proposed organisation at commencement.
The bill has been widely anticipated by many Nigerians who believe the creation of the corps will partly address the nation’s unemployment crisis.