Peace Corps of Nigeria has said its main source of income in running the activities of the corps comes basically from membership drive and annual fun fair and not from the United Nations, UN contrary to believe in some quarters.
National Commandant of the corps, Dr. Dickson Akoh told Nigerian Pilot that for now, they don’t get any funding from any international organisation, including the UN despite the fact that it had been given special consultative status by the body in 2012.
Akoh explained that just like the American Peace Corps came into existence by an act of parliament, he also had gone to the National Assembly seeking for the passage of a ‘Bill for an act to establish the Nigeria Peace Corps (NPC) to empower, develop and provide alternative employment for the youth, to facilitate peace, community services, nation-building and for other matter related therewith” 2015 (HB. 89).
The national commandant, however, admitted that if not for the security challenges the corps was facing, other international organisations would have love to assist financially.
He revealed that after the security reports State Security Service, SSS wrote to some state governments against the corps, they felt there was need to get a statutory act recognising them so that international organisations like the UN could assist.
Akoh stressed that even the Nigeria Police had attested that all their sources of fundings were in line with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC as approved.
“For now, we don’t get funding from the UN. UN gave us special consultative status in 2012. That is why we went for this act to legislate in our activities.
“Actually, the American Peace Corps came into existence by legislative act, even the UN and other international organisations we have met in the course of our programmes. They would have love to come in and assist us, but you know the world today is a global community, whatever happens in Nigeria, they know we have challenges in the hands of the security.
“We came to the National Assembly because our members are increasing; there is no statutory act to recognise us.
“We studied the report SSS wrote to some state governments and felt there is need to get the statutory act recognising us so that International organisations like the UN can come and assist us,” Akoh stated.
He said that the bill had passed first and second reading in the floor of both Senate and House of Representatives and public hearing conducted, adding that what remains was for the bill to be read for the third time.
In view of the seeming dislike from other para-military outfits, the national commandant said the corps was not asking the Ministry of Interior to align its salary with the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission when finally recognise as a legal entity.
He pointed out that they had ran the affairs of the corps for close to 18 years now without funds from government, stressing that their primary object was that while these youths are being rendering services and being paid stipends, they should be considered when there is opportunity in government establishments.
Akoh also hinted that aside having offices in the 36 states of the federation, the corps was in partnership with some of the state governments.
On security, the national commandant added that there would be no terrorists, armed robbers and kidnappers if the armies of unemployed youths were meaningfully engaged long before now
The Nigeria Peace Corps was established on July 10, 1998 in Kaduna state to train, educate and re-orient the youth as future leaders of the country.
The core has been fighting to be recognised in Nigeria as a legal entity.

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