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NYSC : Life As A Youth Corps Member

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NYSC is the National Youth Service Corps, established by Gen. Yakubu Gowon to foster unity and build the nations. Over decades, millions of amiable youths have served the nation as corps members. Life as a corper is a special one. There is no other experience in Nigeria like NYSC if you think your final year in university will deal you the worst cards, wait till NYSC year. NYSC news keeps all prospective corps members on their toes and in all, its all an adventure.

  1. Corper Shun!

Feel free to roll your eyes when a random person screams the phrase at you. It is almost like a fever. During your NYSC year, you will be required to wear your uniform once a week for CDS. As you commute, there are special people who feel the need to chant ‘Corper Shun!’ at you and tell you about their NYSC tales of years passed. It is annoying most of the time because you really do not care to know, however, thinking back, it makes for a good laugh. During your days you swore you would never be one of them but there you are years later being the chanter. In those 11 solid months, prepare to hear ‘Corper Shun!’ each time you wear your uniform, be it in public or private.

  1. Have they paid allowee? When is allowee dropping?

The best time for a youth corps member is the end of the month when the monthly allowance called allowee, is paid. It is not news that the allowee is just a thousand and more minimum age and does not take care of the bills at all, however, some corpers know how to make it work. When allowee is delayed, corps members go in search of NYSC news, both fake and authentic and this just gives everyone anxiety. As the last day of the month approaches, these questions roll out on group chats and among corpers; “have they paid allowee?”, “when is allowee dropping”, “which bank do you use”. Once the allowee alert is received, everybody goes back to their various rocks.

  1. Corper wee o! Can I have just two minutes of your time?

Most corpers dread SAED personnel. SAED means Skill Acquisition & Entrepreneurship Development. They pop out of nowhere and simply ask for two minutes of your time. If you make the mistake of giving them your number, they will never fail to call your phone and disturb your peace. A few corps members pay mind to them but set aside some hours during your NYSC year for the long SAED talks.

  1. Never miss clearance

Clearance is the most important activity of your service year. Observing the monthly clearance is proof that you have worked satisfactorily at your place of primary assignment and thus, can be paid the monthly allowance. Over time, rules have been broken and amended. Today, missing two months’ clearance throughout the service year will result in an automatic service year extension. Your clearance letter is the only thing your employer can hold against you so be wise.

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  1. Don’t dare skip general CDS.

General CDS is usually long because every corps member in your NYSC batch posted to your Local Government Area will have CDS together. Asides the fact that not everybody attends all General CDS, there will still be a lot of you and it is advised to never miss it. When looking to pardon a clearance defaulter, the General CDS attendance is the next best thing. General CDS is also the particular CDS where special announcements and attendance is taken. If you want to know a hack, the General CDS and clearance are the two most important CDS days in the month.

  1. Stay on good terms with the HR manager of your PPA

The one person that can make or break your NYSC experience at your primary place of assignment, so it is best you stay on good terms with them. The Human Resources Manager is the one who prepares and signs your clearance letter. In some cases, the boss himself/herself prepares and signs your clearance letter. If you’re the type of employee to misbehave, do so at clearance’s risk. Sometimes, your excesses may go overlooked until the day you are to receive your final clearance. It is then, that these key individuals will help you get a service extension. On the other side of the coin, your boss and HR Manager may just be pains in your rare. Standing up for yourself would be the best thing to do but as a corper, take your stance to your Local Government Inspector and make an official complaint. Not all of them will help out, however, it is their duty to. Keep records of these reports too.

  1. Ghost corper

In Nigeria, you hear a lot about ghost workers on the news. NYSC news flash, did you know there were ghost corpers too? Ghost corpers are the ones who do not actually serve, they just observe monthly clearance. There are different types of ghost corpers. Some corpers do not work in their place of primary assignment, they arrange with the employer and become ghosts. They either work in a place of their choice or get about their own hustle. That’s the lowest level of ghost corpers. Some youth corps members do not even remain in the state of deployment; however, they just attend monthly clearance. On the top of the hierarchy are the chief ghosts. They do not do a single thing, they do not work neither do they attend CDS nor observe monthly clearance. They do not even attend passing out parade. These guys can be in a different country for all we know.NYSC

  1. White fowl/cow

White fowl or cow is what every corps member is called in the NYSC Orientation Camp. At camp, the uniform is a white T-shirt on white shorts with white tennis shoes and white socks. How much whiter can you get? The soldiers take pride in calling every corps member white fowl or white cow. In white, they can spot you from a distance be it during the day or at night. There is nowhere to hide.

  1. All PCMs are required to…

Whenever NYSC news drops, it must contain this very line. ‘PCM’ is an abbreviation for prospective corps member. Such news makes your heart beat faster and can sometimes give you goosebumps because NYSC has a way of catching you off guard.

  1. You are to appear before the CDC…

If you receive this text message, do not bother calling your Local Government Inspector to save you. It means service year extension, loading.

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