National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), every Nigerian is familiar with the acronym if not that then the uniform (that god awful green urgh). NYSC is a one year (11 months actually) mandatory service program for all graduates from higher institutions. It’s something that many people look forward to and it’s one experience that all educated (tertiary educated people, excluding some Nigerians in the Diaspora and those that intentionally put in effort and money to skip it or people past 30 years of age) have together. The price you pay for getting an education with often times questionable worth. So basically after your higher education, you are posted to one of the 36 states and FCT (Lagos, Abuja, Portharcourt and Calabar are the Hollywood Chris’s of states). There are a ton of batches every year due to the numbers that finish from higher institutions (cries in lack of jobs).
First off, you’re shipped off to camp.
You get to be in camp for 3 weeks (oh the horror) and no it’s not camp like the movies where you sit by a campfire telling stories while roasting marshmallows (or to be closer to home read marshmallows as cricket lmao). Think, military camp meets public boarding school where you are cramped with hundreds of people, you’re constantly on queues and you get to wake up by 5am to do drills and the likes with everything regimented. Please don’t let me scare you to death if you haven’t done NYSC, it can actually be fun, you get to meet new people, make new memories and have new experiences and hey it’s only 3 weeks right (and mami market is always a lituation in camp). I digress, after camp you are then posted to a place of assignment where you get to work (most probably will be unpaid) for the rest of the service year.
There is clearance in the first 10 days of every month and then once a week there is community development program. The NYSC is not a bad idea in theory and I guess at the beginning it worked out well. Our parents seem to have enjoyed it and had lots of fun stories. The country wasn’t failing then because we are definitely worse off now. Though I am yet to see its relevance and impact today, I don’t think the government has even fostered the thought of redefining the process or cancelling the program entirely.
I just finished my service year(don’t say I was never patriotic) and someday I’ll regale you with tales of my personal experiences but for this post I just want to mark the fact that my one year service to my absentee fatherland is done. The watch is over guys.