Peace Corps will create million jobs for Nigerian youths if Buhari signs Bill — Ben Duntoye

Posted by News Express | 10 March 2018 | 1,718 times

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•African Youth Support Centre Executive Director, Comrade Ben Duntoye

An international youth expert and former President of the Pan African Youth Union, Comrade Ben Duntoye, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly reconsider his position on the Nigeria Peace Corps (NPC) Bill.

At a press briefing in Abuja on Friday, Duntoye, Executive Director, African Youth Support Centre, said that the Nigerian Peace Corps is designed to be a vehicle for mass mobilisation and engagement of the Nigerian youth into regimental community development services, domesticated para-military volunteerism for ad-hoc interventions like national clean up exercise, population census, voters registration and elections, maintenance of peace and order in schools and public places and general neighbourhood services. He said that these constitute “an existing gap in our national development efforts, hence, talking about overlap of responsibility with any existing structure is totally out of place.”

Duntoye said that the African Youth Support Centre did a careful study of the NPC Bill before the public hearings organised by the National Assembly and discovered that NPC is structured to be the most cost effective agency of government in Nigeria that will provide maximum services at most minimal cost to the national economy, with great potentials of attracting international funding and support like its counterparts around the Globe.

“The national outburst of jubilation across the country that followed the news of the passage of the Bill by both chambers of the National Assembly was a clear and good testimony that the NPC Bill was both People Oriented and commanded the general goodwill of well-meaning Nigerians and the masses,” Duntoye said.

He said his Center could not comprehend the rationale behind the rejection of the Bill by President Buhari, since no technical or convincing reasons were offered “except the vague and inexplicit assertion of economic constraints and security concerns. Which to us are inadequate and surmountable.”

“The NPC can be established without full salary, but sustainable subvention till the nation's Economy improves. Again with proper legislative backings the Agency can on its own source financial support from the Organised Private Sector and Development Partners and be useful in nation building, without stringent financial burden on government purse,” he said.

Duntoye said he was disturbed that the same president that avowed to create a million jobs every year for the Nigerian youth is the same one turning down such a progressive Bill.

“This is very irreconcilable. The Government should have more courage to get funds to employ young people through the Peace Corps Bill. Failure to do this will justify the Political Conspiracy Theory against the person of Amb. Dickson Akoh by some political actors in the country,” Duntoye said.

Source: News Express

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