National Youth Service Corps
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The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is an organisation set up by the Nigerian government to involve the country's graduates in the development of the country with Brig Gen Jide Olawumi as Director General. There is no military conscription in Nigeria, but since 1973 graduates of universities and later polytechnics have been required to take part in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program for one year. This is known as national service year.
"Corp" members are posted to cities far from their city of origin, although this posting has recently been marred with series of favouritism. They are expected to mix with people of other tribes, social and family backgrounds, to learn the culture of the indigenes in the place they are posted to. This action is aimed at bringing about unity in the country and to help youths appreciate other ethnic groups.
There is an "orientation" period of approximately three weeks spent in a military controlled boot "camp" away from family and friends. There is also a "passing out ceremony" at the end of the year and primary assignment followed by one month of vacation.
The program has also helped in creating entry-level jobs for many Nigerian youth. An NYSC forum dedicated to the NYSC members was built to bridge the gap amongst members serving across Nigeria and also an avenue for corpers to share job information and career resources as well as getting loans from the National Directorate Of Employment.
The program has been met with serious criticism by a large portion of the country. The NYSC members have complained of being underpaid, paid late or not paid at all. Several youths carrying out the NYSC program have been killed in the regions they were sent to due to religious violence, ethnic violence or political violence.
A series of bomb and other violent attacks, especially in the North, rocked the country’s stability in the period preceding the 2011 gubernatorial and presidential elections. Most common of these attacks was perpetuated by the Islamist extremist terrorist group called Boko Haram. "Boko Haram" means "Western education is a sin" in the local hausa dialect in Nigeria. The group "Boko Haram" is against western education and wants to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria's northern region.
Worst hit were Corps members, some of whom lost their lives.
As compensation, the president (Goodluck Jonathan), at what can be described as a ceremony, presented N5 million to families of those who lost their lives at the blast.
He also promised to give jobs to the other affected corps members immediately after the mandatory one-year service to the nation.
Years later, the jobs are still in a shelf and most of the affected graduates roam the streets looking for jobs.
- Marenin, Otwin (1990). "Implementing Deployment Policies in the National Youth Service Corps of Nigeria". Comparative Political Studies (London: SAGE Publishers) 22 (4): 397–436. doi:10.1177/0010414090022004002. Retrieved 25 February 2009.
- Visit The Official NYSC Interactive Website/ Forum http://www.nyscforum.org