When I think of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), I think of the journey I never wanted to embark on after I found out I was posted to Bauchi State. For as long as I remember I always prayed and hoped by the time I was grown enough to do NYSC, it would have been scrapped. As God will have it, it was not. I was hoping as a foreign graduate I won’t have to do the one-year compulsory nation building program. Well! I had to, as long as I am a Nigerian citizen less than 30 years old who plans to work and live in Nigeria. No employer in Nigeria will employ you without asking for it. Of course, there are exemptions for NYSC, which are:
- You are over 30
- You are absolutely sure you don’t want to live and work in Nigeria.
- If you decide to be an entrepreneur in Nigeria no one will ask for your NYSC certificate.
So if you are a Nigerian citizen that lives and work abroad and you are certain you won’t be moving back to Nigeria then there is really no point in considering NYSC except you have political ambitions in Nigeria. However, if you want to do NYSC, there are a lot of things you need to know.
What International Students Need to Know About NYSC
You will have to register for NYSC via the online portal and fill the form. This can be done at home but Cybercafe is the best option because of biometrics capture. You will need the original certificate of your :
- College Degree
- O’level – WAEC, NECO
- Resident permit /visa in a foreign country showing the date of departure from/to Nigeria
- Student ID
- International Passport
All your original documents are verified at the place assigned to you during your registration. . Once you have verified your document, after a couple of days in your NYSC portal, you will have the cleared verification slip. It is important for registration in Camp.
How does NYSC posting work?
The thing with NYSC posting is you are not posted to a state you like, live or where you are from except if you are married or you get someone to work your posting to your favour. Getting someone to do this means that at times things can go wrong and you may not get where you want. People tend to work their posting to avoid being in Northern Nigeria or any other part of the country that has security issues. Northern Nigeria is not known to be the most peaceful because of Boko Haram hence why non-northerners do not like to go there for their service year.
What happens before going to NYSC Camp?
Prior to heading to Bauchi camp, I had to shop for toiletries, groceries and white items – vest, shorts, socks and trainers. I had heard so many unpleasant tales especially about stealing so I took a random phone to NYSC camp. Also, you are expected to fulfil all registration requirements which will be communicated to you via email or the NYSC portal.
What happens In NYSC Camp?
The NYSC camp is 3 weeks of mandatory military-like training with Man O War drills, marching, listening to a bunch of people speak and Skill Acquisition & Entrepreneur Department (SAED) program. Think of the 3 weeks as a boarding school.
You will be expected to wear your white on white outfit for the most part during all camp activities. You will receive white shoes, NYSC uniform (which would not be in your size), white shirts, ceremonial crested vest, khaki trouser, khaki jacket, socks and NYSC boots.
Also, you will be required to open a bank account to ensure you receive your Alawee (Salary) on a monthly basis.
The highlight of the NYSC camp experience is the Mammy Market, which is an open market where you can buy food, shop for items and charge your phone.
What Happens after NYSC camp?
You are posted to a Place of Primary Assignment (PPA). If you are like me, who ended up being redeployed to Lagos, you will have more work to do in terms of transitioning to another state.
For the entire service year, you are expected to work in public service or organizations that will help make the country better. You are not allowed to work in private companies such as Banks, OIl companies etc. Of course, people find their way around it to get themselves into such places.
Weekly, you have a Community Development Service (CDS) day which is once a week at the local government where your PPA is. The goal of the CDS is unknown as people on your allocated day meet together and do absolutely nothing for like 3 hours or more. Attendance is mandatory. This can affect your eligibility to finish NYSC. There is also monthly clearance just to ensure you have been coming for CDS.
I also decided to enroll in a project management certification program done by the SAED. It was a way to develop myself during the NYSC year.
What happens after NYSC?
A passing out parade (P.O.P) is done to mark that the NYSC year is over. You choose what next you want to do with your life – Do you want to start a business? Do you want to start working? Do you want to further your education?
I chose to keep working till I was able to get into a Master’s program.
NYSC let me know that Nigerian life was not for me. The job market is really tough which I talked about on my Instagram. It was a great opportunity to work for the time I was in Nigeria before moving to Canada. As it is my experience while working in Lagos that landed me my current job. So no experience is useless!