In this post, I will tell you why NYSC is important to Nigerian students. NYSC means the National Youth Service Corps. It is an important programme set up by the Nigerian government to engage graduates in the development of the country. This however is not what is in the minds of Nigerian graduates when they are being asked to serve their country.
I am going to be writing based on personal experience, as I am a Corp Member. For us, NYSC is a lot more than just serving our country, it is more of a consolation for the years spent in the university and all the tussle that came with it. it gives us a sense of belonging and importance in our country Nigeria.
Being an NYSC Corp member is like being taken care of by the Nigerian government for a year. When you think about the difficulties of securing employment in Nigeria today, you will automatically find that urge to serve your country and savour all the benefits that come with being a Corper.
As a corp member, we stand to gain respect, Monthly allowance (allawee), Accommodation, and most importantly the chance of securing good employment after the one year of service, as these days completion of the NYSC programme is a requirement for employment in most companies today.
I can say that waiting for the NYSC senate list for my school, was one of the most suspense-filled time of my life. This was so because the senate list that I was waiting for was the third, as my name did not appear in the first and second list that came out, so I was really tense.
In Nigeria, we have parents that would never believe what they hear, but only what they see. Most parents conclude that their children probably have one issue or the other at school, if not, why haven’t they gone for service like the rest of their mates. They would never believe their child until they see them in an NYSC uniform. At least this was my case.
NYSC makes parents proud of their children, it unites the home. This is one of the reasons why NYSC is important to Nigerian students. A Nigerian mother will brag to her friends and neighbours that her child is now a graduate, just because she/he is a Youth Corper.
After graduation, the opening of the NYSC portal becomes the talk of each day, until the portal is opened. Graduates exchange phone numbers and socials media handles, group chats and forums are created all in the name of knowing when the NYSC portal will be opened and generally getting NYSC updates. But the truth is that this is the only way to keep in touch with coursemates, as we all know that people tend to lose communication after school. NYSC helps graduates to stay in touch.
The stress that comes with serving our father land is a big one but it feels really good when we remind ourselves of what we are fighting for.
The NYSC registration process is unbearable, crowded cyber cafes, slow internet connection and the worst is the seizing of the NYSC portal during the NYSC registration. But in the midst of all of these problems, we are determined to make sure we see it through until the registration is completed.
When a graduate makes that decision to serve our father land, it just means that he or she knows what they are up against, as the struggle during the NYSC registration is not news to them. Completing this registration process helps them feel good about themselves and proud of how far they have come regardless of all that has happened.
Do you know that feeling that comes with buying a new dress, or new jeans, shoes or shirts e.t.c? That is the feeling you get when your NYSC dashboard has finally being created. The feeling that you own something so valuable is amazing, this is the stage when a graduate feels superior to his or her mate who for some reason was unable to get to this stage of the process like they did, as they have just become a prospective corp member
Some of my mates who were 2020, Batch A corp member acted like they were on top of the world. They got into camp in March 2020 and I was supposed to go the next month for the 2020 Batch A stream II when the pandemic began and the whole NYSC process was seized. I was really sad but was determined not to miss the next batch.
NYSC helps a graduate to see strength and determination in themselves.
This stage is the most challenging stage for prospective corp members as they will begin to question their efforts. I do not know how the government does the posting of prospective corp members but I really do think that they only have their best interest at heart.
My friend was posted to Zamfara state. She cried and almost changed her mind about going to camp. Eventually, she hopped on that plane and found herself in Zamfara camp. Up until today, she keeps telling me that she had the best experience in camp and that the most exciting part of it all was how different people, from different tribes came together and worked together. At Zamfara state was when she realised how lovely Hausa people are.
There are different reactions to receiving the call-up letter. There is excitement, anger, sadness, indifference, hatred (towards the NYSC board), disbelieve etc. But at this stage, what motivates a graduate to not give up is the experience that would be gained in the orientation camp. For no matter where the camp is located, the experience will always be a beautiful one.
Also, there are different reasons why graduates look forward to going to the NYSC Orientation camp. We have all heard stories of people finding their soulmate in the camp. NYSC orientation camp brings people from entirely different backgrounds together and most times it produces the best result.
“Being an NYSC Corp member is like being taken care of by the Nigerian government for a year”
I can say that in my school there were people that did not get up to 33000 Naira monthly for upkeep from their parents. This goes far to show you the amount of struggle one goes through just to become a graduate. So, it is ok for a graduate to create make-believe in his/her head of how rich he/she will become when the NYSC monthly allowance starts coming in steady for one year.
NYSC monthly pay of 33000 Naira is efficient enough to take care of one’s basic needs.
I am going to write about my experience on the night of the day that I arrived at the Orientation Camp.
Before my arrival date in camp, I gave some money to a friend of mine who sews, to make me four white shorts.
On the night of the day that I arrived at the Orientation camp, we had our welcome party and I put on one of the shorts and the best white that I got, I also carried my blue water bottle (which I never got to use that night) with my red and black waist bag. I don’t know what your reaction to this will be, but this goes far to show how excited I was.
My name is Anyanwu Agatha and I am an NYSC Batch B, Stream 1b Lagos Corp member. I went to the Lagos Orientation camp at Iyana Paja.
Here are a few photos of my experience at Lagos Camp.
I would like to say a big congratulations to all those that will be going for the 2021 NYSC batch A, Orientation course programme. I won’t lie, it will get really stressful at the Orientation camp but what will make it all worth it are the people. Ensure you savour every moment!
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