We’re starting a series on the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) which would run for the next few weeks.
It only seems reasonable to start the series explaining what the whole program is and what it entails, as we do not want anyone left out.
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is a scheme set up by the Nigerian government to involve Nigerian graduates in nation building and the development of the country.
NYSC was created on 22nd May, 1973, in a bid to reconstruct, reconcile and rebuild the country after the Nigerian Civil war, which further compounded the already existent challenges faced by the country. It was established based on decree No.24 that stated that the scheme was created “with a view to the proper encouragement and development of common ties among the youths of Nigeria and the promotion of national unity”. Besides fostering unity, the scheme was established with the aim of mobilizing the youth, the leaders of tomorrow, to different parts of the country to enable them to experience the needs and challenges of the common man and therefore be more motivated and patriotic leaders in the long run. This was done with the belief that higher institutions were not preparing youth enough to be leaders as it was believed that graduates had an elitist view on life and were oblivious of the challenges of the common man in the nation.
Since 1973, graduates of universities and later polytechnics have been required to take part in the National Youth Service Corps program for one year. This is known as national service year. The incumbent Director-General is Brig. Gen. Ibrahim Shuaibu.
Mode of operation
Corps members (participants in the National Youth Service Scheme) are posted to states other than their state of origin where they are expected to mix with people from different ethnic groups, social and family backgrounds, and learn the culture of the indigenes in the location they are posted to. This action is aimed at bringing about unity in the country and help the youth appreciate other ethnic groups.
There is an orientation period of approximately three weeks spent in a military controlled camp away from family and friends. There is also a passing out ceremony at the end of the three weeks orientation camp after which corp members are posted to their Place of Primary Assignment (PPA). They are expected to work as full time staff at their PPA with exception of one working day devoted for the execution of community development service. After eleven months at their PPA, corp members are allowed one month of vacation before their final passing out ceremony where they would be issued certificates of completion.
Significance of the program
Nigerian graduates are ineligible for employment in governmental establishments (and most private establishments) until they have completed the mandatory one year service or obtained the relevant exemptions.
Nigerian Graduates either home or overseas trained who have the stipulated qualification of B.SC, B.A or HND from approved or accredited Institutions by NUC, NTBE or NCCE are eligible for the program.
Any of these persons may be exempted from the NYSC program:
1. He is over the age of thirty (30) years
2. He has served in the Armed Forces of the Federation or the Nigeria Police Force for a period of more than nine months; or
3. He is a member of staff of any of the following:
• The Nigerian Security Organization
• The State Security Service
• The National Intelligence Agency
• The Defence Intelligence Service
4. He has been conferred with any National Honour.
Thank you for reading!
For more information, visit
Photos: @jamesstoryteller on Instagram
The official NYSC website