The Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) was borne out of an idea to maintain peace and social order. At that time, the dream of the founder of PCN, Dickson A.O Akoh was to see the youths being sufficiently empowered to achieve their individual and collective goals and for this to be possible the society had to be in order.
As a result, the Corps was founded as an organization to foster national creativity, unity, peace, youth development and re-orientation and this is fully encapsulated by the organization’s motto which is “Discipline and Patriotic services.”
As a young man, Akoh had been involved in leadership quite early. He was a troop leader with the Boys Scout Movement. Also, he served as the zonal leader of the International Red Cross Society in Benue State. Dickson Akoh also had a 4 year stint with the Nigerian Army Cadet Corps in Kaduna.
With vast experience in the fields of Security and Safety Measures, Peace Education, Conflict resolution, Patriotism, Nation Building, Leadership and Citizenship Training, Dickson Akoh seemed like the default choice in founding such an organization.
Some of the Aims and Objectives of Peace Corps are as follows:
(a) Promote Social and Economic Development by involving Members and Volunteers in the scheme through working with Government, Schools, Non-Profit Organizations, non-Governmental Organizations, etc. in order to preoccupy the youths;
(b) To empower and pre-occupy Nigerian Youths through job creation and provision of alternative employment;
(c) Training Nigerian Youths with good virtuous, strong passion and commitment to the art of Patriotism, Volunteerism Community Services and Nation Building;
(d) To train and equip the Youths with knowledge for Peace Education, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, Reconciliation and Confidence Building;
(e) To give distinct orientation to the Youths and engage them in the provision of essential services such as:
Peace Corps of Nigeria: Ranking
The ranking system in the Nigerian Peace Corps is different from that of the Army, Navy and Airforce. However, it is similar to Nigerian Immigration where the highest ranked officer is the Commandant General followed by the Deputy Commandant General (DCG) and the next is the Assistant Commandant General (ACG).
There are 6 DCGs and 6 ACGS. Generally, these positions are selected according to the law and have been drawn from the 6 geopolitical zones to reflect true Federalism.
The ranks have been highlighted below:
- Commandant general “cg” (1 npc arm, 2 star, 1 eagle)
- Deputy commandant general “dcg” (1 npc arm, 1 star, 1 eagle)
- Assistant commandant general “acg” ( 1 npc arm, 1 npc bar,1 eagle)
- Commandant “cn” (1 npc arm, 1 eagle)
- Deputy commandant “dcn” (1 npc arm, 1 star)
- Assistant commandant “acn” (1 npc arm)
- Chief superintendent “csn” (1 star, 1 eagle)
- Superintendent “sn” (1eagle)
- Deputy superintendent “dsn” (3 star)
- Assistant superintendent 1 “asn 1” (2 star)
- Assistant superintendent 2 “asn 2” (1 star)
- Inspector 1 “inspector 1” ( 3 strip metal bar)
- Inspector 2 “inspector 2” (2 strip metal bar)
- Inspector 3 “inspector 3” (1 strip metal bar)
- Corper assistant 1 ” corper 1″ ( 3 strip wool bar)
- Corper assistant 2 “corper 2” (2 strip wool bar)
- Corper assistant 3 “corper 1” (1 strip wool bar)
- Private corper “private” (1 empty wool bar) lowest rank in the peace corp
Apart from this ranked officers, PCN general allows for other membership opportunities. The membership is an exclusive reserve of Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 35. It doesn’t matter your gender, political status, social status, ethnic group, state of origin or religious affiliations.
The membership is in 3 categories:
- Permanent Staff Officers
- Peace Corps Volunteer
- Student Membership
Permanent Staff Officers
This opportunity is available to the unemployed youths through the Alternative Employment Scheme (AES) and this platform serves to reduce youth involvement in crime and anti-social acts.
This is possible because the Corps is able to engage the services of unemployed youths with a minimum academic qualification of Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE). These youths are trained adequately after which they are given the status of Staff Officers. These permanent members are entitled to monthly stipend paid jointly with the direct beneficiary of their services.
Peace Corp Volunteer
This is another membership opportunity which is available to employed professionals in various fields that would like to serve as Peace Corps Volunteers. However, this does not come with remuneration but you are entitled to an identity Card, Uniform, Kits, T-shirts, fez-caps. And whenever you’re involved as a resource person during programmes and events, you will be paid honorarium.
If you’re interested in enlisting into Peace Corps Volunteer Cadre, you can obtain a form from the National Headquarters or any of the State Commands, including the FCT. Generally, Peace Corps Volunteers serve as Peace Ambassadors in their various fields of professional calling by mediating between warring factions when the need arises in accordance with the Multi-Track Disciplinary Approach to Conflict Resolution.
Peace Corps Student Membership
The student membership is in accordance with the relevant provisions of the constitution of PCN, membership of the Organization and it is available to all students of Educational Institutions. In this case, the membership is on a voluntary basis and restricted to students in schools only.
Applicants are expected to personally apply for this position and confirmation of membership in any of the categories is subject to this. The processing of acceptance is subject to intense verification and scrutiny by the organization.
Peace Corps of Nigeria Salary
The salary structure is different from the Navy, Army or Airforce as the organization is dependent on donations from local and international donor agencies, grants for specific projects, endowment from governments or private corporations.
They also generate funds from enlistment fee; identity card fees; weekly development fee by members; camp fees; gifts and bequest
Recently the Peace Corps celebrated the International Peace Day on the 21st of September.
The program was themed ‘Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All’ and was organised at the old Parade Ground, Area 11, Abuja.
The charge at the event was given by the Nigerian Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung