HISTORY OF NYSC
The NYSC scheme was created in a bid to reconstruct, reconcile and rebuild the country after the Nigerian Civil war. The unfortunate antecedents in our national history gave impetus to the establishment of the National Youth Service Corps by decree No.24 of 22nd May 1973 which stated that the "NYSC is being established with a view to the proper encouragement and development of common ties among the youths of Nigeria and the promotion of national unity".
As a fast rising developing country, Nigeria is further plagued by the problems attendant upon a condition of under development, namely; poverty, mass illiteracy, acute shortage of high skilled manpower (coupled with most uneven distribution of the skilled people that are available), woefully inadequate socioeconomic infrastructural facilities, housing, water and sewage facilities, road, healthcare services, and effective communication system. Faced with these almost intractable problems, which were further compounded by the burden of reconstruction after the civil war, the government and people of Nigeria set for the country, fresh goals, and objectives aimed at establishing Nigeria as:
(a) a united, strong and self reliant nation:
(b) a great and dynamic economy;
(c) a land of bright and full opportunities for all citizens; and
(d) a free and democratic society.
OBJECTIVES OF THE CORPS PROGRAMME
- Re-socialize youth to core Values and Attitudes facilitating participants' personal development ; to create an enhanced and enriched sense of self and citizenship.
- To give national service in keeping with a national objective for citizenry.
- To facilitate the Career Development of participants through exposure to particular career options. Service to country will therefore be translated into professional goals and achievement. As part of that process, the NYSC provides tuition grants for further education and entrepreneurship loans.
'Youths obey the clarion call, let us lift our nation high, under the sun and in the rain, with dedication and selflessness, Nigeria ours, Nigeria, we Serve.'
The above is the National Anthem of every Youth Corp member in Nigeria. Even at 30+ years, it has sounded sure and true.
All Corp members are based on a 3week residential orientation training camp. Residential training provides an opportunity for participants to become exposed to an area of specialization (Special Curriculum) and presents an opportunities to inculcates the desired values and attitudes based on NYSC standards ( Core Curriculum ). While the Core Curriculum remains constant for all camps the Special Curriculum varies to reflect the nature of the camp. There is also Community Development Services (done once a week), and The Place of Primary Assignments, (where each corp member is posted to after the orientation camp and where corp members serve for one year).
Once you are through with the registration exercise and having completed all that is officially required of you, you are now qualified to be issued with the NYSC identity card by the public relations officer, and NYSC kit items (by the NYSC Store Officers). The NYSC identity card is a legal document. It is not transferable while the NYSC kit items are special dresses strictly worn by bona fide service corps members. It is forbidden to be worn by unqualified persons.
The kit items are as follows:
(a) 2 plain vests
(b) 1 Youth Corps cap
(c) 1 Khaki shirt and a trouser
(d) 1 Youth Corps belt
(e) 1 pair of jungle boots
(f) 2 P.E. shorts
(g) 1 vest with NYSC emblem
(h) 1 pair of white canvas shoes
(i) 2 pairs of stockings
From this time (registration/swearing-in) henceforth, the mode of dressing at the camp is kitting, i.e. appearing always in NYSC kit items. This makes for easy identification and helps the camp officials to fish out intruders or external persons not officially invited to the camping ground.
The NYSC orientation camp is a world of its own with the military rules guiding the conduct of every member of the community. Discipline is the watchword at the camp. You must yield yourself to discipline if you want to have your peace while at the orientation camp. Every activity on camp is timed and strict. Compliance with such timing makes you a better citizen.
Some of the prominent activities on camp include the following:
(i) Military parade/drills
(ii) Man O’war activities
(iv) Social activities
(v) Endurance trek
Orientation is followed by 9-11 months of on-the-job placement during which the NYSC pays a stipend to subsidise transportation and lunch. The NYSC identifies placement sites and coordinates the placement of participants. Participants are placed by matching the needs of the organisation with the skills or qualifications of participants, preferences of participants and the distance from their homes.
Monitoring - Participants are periodically monitored , Workshops - Each participant must attend a monthly workshop organised. Workshops involve career guidance sessions, educational development opportunities, entrepreneurship and re-enforcement of values taught on camp.
- Corp Programmes Offered (Areas of specialization)
- Early Childhood Education Health Facilitators
- Uniform and Environment Clerical Administration
- Customer Care Sales and Administration
- Micro Entrepreneurial
IN-SERVICE BENEFITS INCLUDE:
• i. Bank Accounts opened
• ii. Medical Insurance
POST SERVICE BENEFITS INCLUDE:
• iii. Financial assistance for further education
• iv. Scholarship qualification for consideration
• v. National Housing Trust benefits
ORIENTATION BROADCAST SERVICE (OBS)
Always listen to the OBS all the time for necessary information and announcements. The public relations committee runs the camp OBS to make for easy flow of information within the camp. Programmes handled by the OBS members include: instructions/directives from appropriate authorities, news/news commentary, Shout outs, sports commentary, discussions, announcements, musicals, etc. Corps members (like the above picture) with flare for broadcasting and engineering are usually co-opted into the OBS committee.
Accommodation on Camp
After completing your registration exercise, you will be allocated to a hall of residence and be issued with a bed and mattress. On no account should you remove beds from one room to another or occupy two beds or use two mattresses at a time. Also, there should be no reason whatsoever to invite hawkers and photographers into the halls of residence. They are security risks to your valuable items. You are expected to keep your rooms and environs perfectly clean all the time. Use and keep you toilets in good hygiene condition always. You are expected to comply strictly with these rules in your own interest.
Religious Activities at Orientation Camps
While freedom of religion and worship is allowed on camp, it must be done in accordance with the guidelines as entrenched in the laws of this great nation. Consequently, the NYSC recognizes Sundays for Christians and Fridays for Muslims but will not condone provocative worships that may put the peace of the camp in jeopardy. It is therefore necessary to sound it loud and clear that NYSC programmes supercede any other at the orientation camp.
Lectures are compulsory for every corps member on camp. The lectures are carefully put together to prepare the corps members of the task ahead. They are usually highly informative and educative. You will never regret participating during lecture sessions.
Language studies have to do with the art of learning the local language of the people in the state where you have been deployed to, for the one-year National Service. The essence is to equip you with the rudiments of the prevailing local language so that you can freely engage in daily conversations and interactions with the local community.
Discipline is a fundamental instrument on camp. It is non-negotiable. The presence of the military on camp is a clear indication that discipline is the order of the day. Corps members are therefore advised to behave themselves as any act of indiscipline will attract stern disciplinary measures as may be decided by the Orientation Camp Court. On no account should any corps member travel out of camp without due permission by the camp Director or State Director. The camp Director is in charge of administration on camp. Everyone on camp has the responsibility on camp to be security conscious. Corps members are advised to take proper care of their valuables at all times and should endeavour to report suspicious movements to the police on camp or any camp official. For purposes of identification, corps members must always be kitted in line with the programmes in session, for instance, there is the kitting for parade, drills and ceremonies as the case may be.
There is a camp clinic which runs for 24 hours throughout the duration of the orientation course. Treatment at the camp clinic is free of charge, so avoid self and dangerous medication. Corps doctors, pharmacists and laboratory technologists /scientists manage the camp clinic on staff basis.
Accounts Department/Corps Allowances
The accounts unit of the orientation camp takes care of corps entitlements:
- There is transport allowance payable on arrival at the camp;
- There is local transport (bicycle) allowance and
- Monthly allowance, which will be paid towards the end of the orientation course, is the last of the series of allowances paid to corps members during orientation exercise.
Subsequent personal allowance for the remaining months of the year can only be paid to you on the production of monthly clearance, duly endorsed by you employer at your place of primary assignment. Failure to obtain the monthly clearance from your employer indicates that you did not work for the month in question. So, there will be no monthly allowance for that month.
(a) Cultism is a taboo on camp. It is highly prohibited at NYSC camps
(b) Drug addiction has no place at the camp
(c) Stealing is an abomination on camp. Do not attempt it.
(d) Rioting/demonstration and the likes are not part of paramilitary
(e) Group meetings are not allowed on camp
(f) Rape is a serious crime against humanity
(g) Fighting on camp attracts severe penalty
(h) Taking double ration of food makes one liable for surcharge
(i) Flippancy and unguarded utterances attract severe punishment
(j) Ensure that you participate in all camp activities
(k) Avoid rumour mongering, always seek information at the appropriate quarters.
(l) Be prudent in spending. Remember you will settle down for your primary assignment.
(m) Smoking/chewing of gum are not allowed on parade
(n) Always observe the lights-out instruction
(o) Discipline is the watchword in NYSC
(p) All activities on the camping program are designed for your own good;so comply.