Indications emerged on Tuesday that the Senate and the House of Representatives might be working on a plan to override the veto of President Muhammadu Buhari on the Peace Corps Bill.
The Senator representing Kogi West, Senator Dino Melaye, who gave the hint while raising a point of order said that the refusal of the President to assent the bill showed that the ruling All Progressives Congress has no specific plans for youth development.
Senator Melaye who raised a point of Order citing Order 43 of the Senate Standing Orders 2015 as amended, said that he has come under intense pressure from his constituents on the necessity of the Peace Corps to Nigeria.
Senator Melaye further took swipes at the government of President Muhammadu Buhari adding that the government has in three years borrowed more than the government of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDD) in 16 years.
According to him, the PDP in 16 years borrowed N6 trillion, while APC government has borrowed N11 trillion in three years.
He also doubted the possibility of any judicious use of the $5.5 billion Eurobond and the security votes floated by the government.
The senator said that claims of the paucity of funds credited to Buhari for not signing the Peace Corps bill untenable adding that the claims that the Corps would also amount to a duplication of responsibilities were untrue.
He said that the bill should be reconsidered adding that the Senate would override the President’s veto if he fails to take another look at the bill.
The Senator said: ” I want to draw the attention of the Senate to the issue of Peace Corps. We have received a communication from the President on why he will not assent to the Bill. I want to say today that I have received hundreds of text messages from my constituents who believe that the Peace Corps is not only important but should be given priority by Mr President. They want the President to withdraw his non-assent to the Bill.
“The same thing happened when the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) was to be created. We were told that there is no money. Today, we can see the advantage of Civil Defence. They are helping with the security architecture of the country, especially the protection of pipelines.
“About $5.5 billion was borrowed through Eurobonds. No part of this will be used to uplift the youths. About $1 billion will be spent on How does that affect the youths of this country?
“The PDP in sixteen years borrowed N6 trillion. This government in three years has borrowed N11 trillion. There is no specific programme for the youths of this country.
“About N500 billion was earmarked for social investments. We have not seen any impact. If the Peace Corps is allowed to exist, hundreds of youths will be employed. It will fight unemployment in this country. We are calling that the Senate will revisit this matter.
“We may need to write the President to review his position. If not, we have the power on behalf of Nigerian youths to override the veto of
Mr President so that the people will become the beneficiaries of this Peace Corps. The youths of this country must be given priority.
Senate President Bukola Saraki who presided over the sitting did not utter any word, nor subject the matter to debate after Melaye’s submissions because the Senator had come by way of personal explanation.
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