Nigeria’s National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) is always welcomed with mixed feelings by all Nigerian graduates. Because of the epic tales of good, bad, ugly and unbelievable experiences during the nation’s youth corp programme.
Anyone who has undergone this compulsory one-year service will identify with the following… (but if you haven’t yet served your fatherland, anticipate them).
This is the first of many challenges faced by youth corp members. The fear of an unknown destination is one that prospective corp members usually have to grapple with.
Even if your uncle is friends with the Director-General, there are times when you wonder what would happen if you’re posted to a remote town.
While some cherish the chance to explore a new culture, others dread having to go far away from home.
Camp activities and morning drills
From registration to the 4am morning drills, the 3-week orientation exercise can be a nightmarish experience for corp members.
Daily lectures which are intended to educate and expose corp members to entreprenurial opportunities, could drag on for hours, such that corp members often get distracted and begin to dream of lunch time.
PPA (a.k.a Primary place of assignment)
While a few youth corp members are spared of this challenge , those affected can testify to the difficulty in securing an organisation to work with for the service year.
Many youth corp members eventually resign to fate and settle with becoming a teacher for the mandatory one year scheme.
This is a monthly NYSC ritual and anyone that has passed through the scheme would understand how tiring the process can be.
Getting the monthly clearance done is most often in four stages.
Before a youth corper can get paid their monthly allowance, they first have to submit a clearance letter for signing, carry out thumb printing, write down account details and eventually submit the files and await bank alerts.
This process, despite being seemingly straightforward, is the true definition of “easier said than done”.
For those who get posted to states outside their states of residence, accommodation can be a big problem.
Getting a comfortable place on a corper’s salary can be a bit challenging.
Walking on the streets in your NYSC uniform has its rewards, catcalls. Ladies in particular, can relate to this.
You will have to decide whether to ignore or acknowledge “corper”, “Otondo” and every other nickname Nigerians have coined for corp members, over the years.