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BusinessDay

I withheld assent to Peace Corps because of security concerns, funding, says Buhari

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KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja

President Muhamamdu Buhari has formally notified the National Assembly of why he declined assent to the Nigeria Peace Corps Bill, 2017, citing security concerns and financial incapacity.

Buhari gave the explanation in a two-page letter dated 25th February, 2018 addressed to Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Similarly, Buhari argued that apart from non-availability of funds, the proposed agency would amount to duplication of duties.

“Pursuant to Section 584) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), I hereby convey to the House of Representatives, my decision on 25th January, 2018 to decline presidential assent to the Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill, 2017, recently passed by the National Assembly.

“Specifically, reasons for the decision to decline assent to this bill include among others:
(a) security concerns regarding the proposed Nigerian Peace Corps being authorised to undertake activities currently being performed by extant security and law enforcement agencies, and
(b)Financial implication or funding of the establishment and operations of the proposed Nigerian Peace Corps, given the scarce resources may pose serious challenge to the government,” Buhari said in the letter, seen by BusinessDay.

Both chambers of the National Assembly passed the harmonised copy of the bill last year and later sent to Buhari for Presidential assent.

The House and Senate are expected to review the President’s letter through the legislative instrument.