Establishment Of NYSC In Nigeria
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is a program that was set up by the Nigerian government to involve every Nigerian graduates in the nation building and the development of the country. Although there is no military conscription in Nigeria, but since 1973, the 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 the national service year. Ahmadu Ali served as the first Director-General of the NYSC until 1975. The incumbent Director-General is Shuaibu Ibrahim.
Major General Suleiman Kazaure was later appointed as the director general of the NYSC on 18 April 2016, and he served as the 17th DG of the scheme until his redeployment to the Nigerian Army Resource Centre on 26 April 2019. Until his appointment, Ibrahim, the new NYSC boss was the Registrar, Nigerian Army University, Biu in Borno State
NYSC was initially created on the 22 May 1973 as an avenue for the reconciliation, reconstruction, and rebuilding of the nation after the civil war. It was established based on the 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
How NYSC Works
The Corps members, which means 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 also to learmlearn the culture of the indigenes in the location they are posted to.
This action is aimed at bringing about unity in the country and also to help the youths appreciate other ethnic groups. There is an “orientation” period of approximately three weeks spent in a military controlled “camp” away from family and friends. The camps are situated across the 36 states of the federation. 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)
The corp members 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 member are allowed one month of vacation before their final passing out ceremony where they would be issued certificates of completion.
Who Is Required To Serve?
To be eligible to participate in the compulsory one year service, the said graduate must be below the age of 30 years upon graduation, or else he/she will be given a Certificate of Exemption, which is also equivalent to the NYSC Discharge Certificate.
A graduate who graduated before 30 years but skipped the service year, will still be eligible to serve even if he wants at the age of 60, since his certificate of graduation was dated before he clocked 30 years of age.
NYSC is a compulsory scheme in the sense that, the graduates of the country can’t request for exemption by themselves, unless they are disabled, have served in the military or paramilitary for a period of more than one year or have exceeded the age of 30 years when they graduated just like in the above explanation. Part-time graduates are given Exemption Letter, since they’re not allowed to serve.
What Is Required For Registration?
The Prospective corps members should have a valid and functional email address and a Nigerian (GSM) telephone number to register. A correct jamb and matriculation number is another important requirement for locally trained graduates. Foreign trained prospective corps members should ensure that their institutions are accredited. Also, if they trained in non-English speaking countries they are expected to translate their certificates to English before uploading.
However, All Nigerian graduates are ineligible for employment in governmental establishments and most private establishments as well, until they have completed the mandatory one year service or may have obtained the relevant exemptions.
Advantages/Benefits Of NYSC
There are several advantages of doing the compulsory one year program, some of which would be aligned below:
-To inculcate discipline in Nigerian youths by instilling in them a tradition of industry at work, and of patriotic and loyal service to Nigeria in any situation they may find themselves.
-To raise the moral tone of the Nigerian youths by giving them the opportunity to learn about higher ideals of national achievement, social and cultural improvement
-To develop in the Nigerian youths the attitudes of mind, acquired through shared experience and suitable training. which will make them more amenable to mobilisation in the national interest
-In order to enable Nigerian youths acquire the spirit of self reliance by encouraging them to develop skills for self employment
-To contribute to the accelerated growth of the national economy
-To develop common ties among the Nigerian youths and promote national unity and integration
The NYSC Criticism
The one year compulsory scheme got backlashes and criticism as expected and most of it has been concerning the remuneration. A few youth who are carrying out the NYSC program, have been killed in the regions where they were sent to serve, due to religious, ethnic or political violence.
Besides the issue of security, so many people have also questioned the continued importance of the program and have called for a conversation in this regard.
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