NYSC In Nigeria: 5 Things You Should Know

By Chisimdi's blog - September 13, 2018

I've been serving our good old country for roughly 6 months and I think I now qualify as an expert on all things NYSC. LOL

NYSC in Nigeria

When I realized in May I was most probably going to be among the 2018 batch A corps members the next month, I thought, 'Wow, I can't wait!'. I had just graduated and even though working, the thought of wearing khaki and boots and being called 'corper' was very thrilling. 6 months down the line, I can't say I'm half as excited as I was earlier. It's more of a 'can it be over already?' feeling now.

After all I had to go through for the 3-week orientation camp; traveling for over 24 hours by road on a not-so-long notice, waking as early as 4 am daily and sometimes earlier, parading for hours under the scorching northern sun and in the rain, sleeping naked in a 6 spring bed because of the heat, enduring boring early morning lectures, sharing a room with half the population of China (Now if I go on and on, it'd make this an 'all I had to endure during NYSC' post and since that's not what this is all about, let's proceed) and all, I can't believe I was even excited in the first place. When my redeployment (relocation) from the north worked, I was so happy I almost died. Okay, that's too much but I was very happy.

Davido in NYSC uniform

Now if you think that's all the stress there is to NYSC, wait for it. There was also the post-camp registration process especially as I redeployed from Kebbi State to Akwa Ibom, the struggle to find a Place of Primary Assignment (PPA), house hunting and everything in between.

As I've been through all these and emerged as an expert on all things NYSC (self-proclaimed), here are 5 things you should know about NYSC as a corps member, prospective corps member or just a curious individual:

1 People Will Rush You

NYSC corps members & Davido

'Corper shun! Coper wee! Ajuwaya' you will hear this a lot. Outdoors, indoors or even the rowdy streets of social media, people are super nice to corps members. If you have something on you that identifies you as a youth corper; your faze cap, khaki, or whatever, people will go out of their way to be nice to you. They'll help you find your way around, smile at you, wave and call out to you, give you lifts or even try to start a conversation.

It could be because they are fascinated that you are most probably not from there and they feel the need to make you feel at home.

If you are going to a place you need a favor, your best bet will be to wear your khaki. For instance, during the recent Permanent Voter's Card (PVC) registration, some corps members got preferential treatment because they wore their khaki to the registration center.

I can't say people everywhere are friendly to corps members. Don't bank on the kindness though, doesn't work all the time. Sometimes, prices of items in the market or even transport fare are hyped because they know you are a stranger and may not know you are being cheated.

I advise you only receive help from strangers when it's absolutely necessary.

2) You'll Go Broke If You Depend On Your NYSC Allowance

As of the time of this post, the NYSC monthly allowance is 19,800 naira and even though it is something, it's not a lot. Except you are a person who can really manage with little, there is no way you can live big with this. Scratch that, there is no way you can even live medium with this. Let's not even talk about saving.

NYSC corps member

There's really not a lot the average youth can do with it. You'd need to pay for transport to and back from your PPA and place of Community Development Service (CDS) if you don't live close, buy food, and other contingencies. 19,800 naira can barely go all the way.

My advice is that you get a side hustle so you won't be broke all the time. Do something that won't take your attention and time from your PPA but will take enough time and attention to bring some cash, no matter how little, at the end of the month.

One of the popular side hustle corps members do is take children on extra moral classes. They teach for extra houses after the school hours is over and get paid for it. Some also take on the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED ) program introduced by NYSC and make money from it at some point. It includes computer training, catering, fishery, bead making, makeup, tailoring, plumbing, etc. The most popular here is tailoring. Do what interests you.

If you already have a skill before NYSC, it's time to cash on it. I, for instance, are on the lookout for freelance writing jobs.

3) CDS Is Boring

NYSC corpers in camp

I do hope my CDS Schedule Officer (SO) doesn't see this, LOL. More often than not, CDS is more boring than the word boring.

That's all I can say on this matter.

4) NYSC Is Over-rated 

NYSC platoon commander

In my opinion and that of many people I know, NYSC is not as great as it appears. Sometimes it feels to me like my life is on pause.

I leave school, get a job and just when I begin to get comfortable and settle down, NYSC happens. I leave my city, my job and all I've known to a new location and literally a new life. I'm hopeful though, it can't be so bad.

I come out from camp looking black from being roasted by the scorching northern sun and off I go to my new location. I'm posted to somewhere, get rejected and I'm posted again. I'm accepted, in a library. The pay and fulfillment I knew from my past job are not there anymore. There's nothing similar to it even.

I go to work, and CDS and literally get paid 19,800 for it. In my opinion and experience, the scheme is not as great as the average person thinks it is.

There are people who have a job before NYSC so if they luckily get posted to the same city they are working, they only need to get a letter from their place of work and NYSC posts them to the same place. They are back to the life they know with an extra 19,000 to the salary they know.

If you want to make the best of NYSC, this is what you should do.

5) It'd be over in no time

National Youth Service Corps

I know I know, I'm not even done yet so how do I know? Well, it only seems like yesterday that I sat on the toilet seat and opened my NYSC dashboard online with jittery fingers to find out I was posted to Kebbi State. Right now, I am halfway through it. Just like being in University, but this time faster, it will be over in no time.

Learn a skill, go out, make friends, explore the place, have fun, eat new food, make the best of it and be happy!

Did you enjoy this read? Is there something you think I should add or a question you have? Please let's proceed to the comment section right away!

N/B: Everything written here is based on my experience. 

NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) is a scheme by the Nigerian government to have young graduates below 30 years of age participate in nation building and development for a period of one year. They post them (read us) to any location within the country but away from home and give them (us) jobs to do till the period is over. Monthly allowance by the federal government is 19,800.

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  1. Hmmmmm I'm kinda disappointed. Safe for the advice of making new friends, eating new food, knowing new places. I don't really gbadu (like) and the nysc thingy again ooo. Thinking aloud Sha.

  2. Well I'm only writing from my personal experience. It can't be so for everyone so don't lose hope.