As it is, there is an embargo placed on gainful employment in 90 per cent of the organizations in the country – you don’t serve, you don’t get a job unless you have taken part in the scheme.
NYSC is a menace, a nightmare and frankly, adds no value to anyone’s lives in the long run. If you’ve passed through the programme, think back on the routine parades and the long lectures that were held in orientation camps and ask yourself how they’ve helped in becoming who you are today. The answer will likely be: They are of no use now, were a burden back then, and will always make some of the worst memories some of us have of those 3 weeks of our lives.
Let’s put this in perspective. Here are all the ways NYSC has made youthful life terrible for many (maybe even all) of us:
Orientation camp is all shades of torturous: We understand that like a typical bootcamp, the routine is supposed to be rigidly structured but hey, if we were training for the military, we know where we’d go.
This is just youth service and we should not be treated like delinquent youths who are in need of correction. Suffice to say that batch in, batch out, the military personnel in camp and even the very ordinary Man ‘o’ War guys find pleasure in taking advantage of helpless young people who are sent off to these camps for basic training.
Having corpers sit in sand, rain and in guard rooms is meaningless. The early morning parades too, altogether a messy schedule that it turns out, we do not need in the workplace and other aspects of our lives.
The paltry sum paid as allowee won’t get you anywhere in life: Forget the lies! Some rented motivational speakers will come to camp in their badly-tailored outfits to preach to you about how they bought their first car with their allowee even before FG became generous enough to pay N19,800.
But we know it’s all lies… so gerrarahia! Sitting to listen to this claptrap was torture in its own form and no fresh graduate should be subjected to that. That’s not how to groom a proactive generation of youths. It’s not by lies.
N19,800 is meaningless money that can hardly sustain anyone in any part of the country. But NYSC thinks it is doing us a great deal of help when it disburses the cash to us. And we complain but no one listens.
The ones who get rejected at their Place of Primary Assignment: For a job you did not ask for, for a job you most likely do not want, on top of your degree and all your school fees, you’ll take your posting letter to the organisation/government ministry/school you were posted and they’ll say so rudely: We don’t need corpers, you people are always lazy.
It’s absolute nonsense. But it’s what corpers face every time!
If you’re lucky to get an acceptance letter, your PPA experience will depend on the type of people you get to work with. Half the time, corp members never get to be comfortable with their colleagues and bosses, because that’s the Nigerian way.
Can’t we just get posted close to home?: Really, if anyone wanted or needed to tour the country, they’d plan a road trip with friends, board an Ifesinachi bus, stash their bags with supplies and cash and go on that adventure.
But NYSC makes us go to places that do not concern our destinies or life plan and then, some of us do not return alive but the authorities have become deaf to the cries of families of the deceased and it’s beyond sad.
Most of these deaths would have never have happened if corp members did not have to travel thousands of miles to unfamiliar towns. Not many people cope fine away from their comfort zones. But NYSC has never concerned itself with drawing up a new structure, that for once favours the graduates the scheme was set up for in the first place.
Ultimately, NYSC is a waste of precious 365 days: True that a number of corpers get jobs in the cities they were posted to serve, true that others meet their life partners in NYSC but it’s also true that we’d rather spend that year doing much more productive stuff with our lives.
Getting a follow-up degree, learning a new skill, starting up a business, etc. All the things many graduates plan to do with their lives but have to put on hold just to fulfill the almighty NYSC, then sadly some of those plans never come to fruition because individuals’ lives are cut short because of the negligence of the scheme.
It’s below par and it’s why we won’t relent on this call for justice for victims of this wickedness till we see it served.
And we just might keep up the cries until NYSC becomes history in Nigeria.
Your pop culture/entertainment go-to. Music head. Wallflower. I do not like to write. On a mission to decipher covfefe.