Over One year after passing out from the National Youth Service Corps
(NYSC), I was compelled to ask myself this question all over again.
"Was NYSC a blessing to me as a graduate in Nigeria or a curse?"
Please, if you are a non-Nigerian or don't understand what NYSC is all
about, visit the official site www.nysc.gov.ng. In a brief
explanation, it is a one year national service program every Nigeria
graduate under the age of 30, must undergo before he or she is able to
fully join the work force/labour market.
I know different persons will have different opinions to this, but
it's an issue worth discussing all over again before jumping into
conclusion. While some corp members will end their service year being
favored with a job to retain and maybe some useful contacts, most,
you'll agree with me, will have to start all over after the one year
exercise. Well, ironically, it's not too much sacrifice to pay for
After all, you-ths should obey the clarion call of lifting the nation
high, under the sun or in the rain, with dedication and selflessness.
Even more so, Nigeria is our country and Nigeria we should service,
however good or bad it turns out. But I wouldn't want to base my
opinion, as to the impact of the scheme, on patriotism neither would I
on sentiments. I would rather base my points on the NYSC experience
and the aftermath. After all, the end justifies the means.
In my opinion, NYSC scheme as it affects the Nigerian graduates is
neither a blessing nor a curse. It's a one year program of making a
group of young Nigerian graduates equal. It's a lesson and a course.
Let me explain, you'll have the chance to air your view in the comment
First, NYSC as a course not a curse.
Think of NYSC as a one year transition period from the academic
environment to the practical/real world. School-campus life have a way
of making life seem easier and straighter than it really is. Often as
students we get a wrong impression of what life and survival is all
about. But With the training and rigorous activities accompanying the
NYSC program in one year, if duely followed, Nigerian graduates are
much likely to get a glimpse of what follows after school. If you had
expected a more direct positive benefit from the scheme, but feel
disappointed by the outcome, it's only a normal human reaction and I
can only say, welcome to the real world . After all, you could have
'gone far', apparently within the one year on your own-so you think.
One might as well, conclude that the four or five years spent in
higher institution was a waste of time, because s/he is not practising
and earning from his/er course of study/profession. I, for example,
spent five years in the university studying Petroleum Engineering but
I apparently don't feel a direct benefit of studying the course
particularly in the first place, while some of my colleagues/course
mates would consider it the best thing that ever happened to their
career. But in actual fact, my five years in school were years well
accounted for with lots of useful learning experiences. So I wouldn't
say studying Petroleum Engineering for five years has been a blessing
or a curse but what I make of it will tell better.
What about victimized corps members?
Crisis are always accompanied with victims, regardless of where, when
and how they happen. Corps members loosing their lives is not reason
enough to condemn the scheme. For corps members who lost their lives
during the NYSC program, may their souls rest in perfect peace. But
life must go on. We will all die somehow and someday. Let's not bother
about dying and concentrate on living. There are always victims of
war-dead or alive. What matters is the inner victory that we win in
the end. That is what keeps us going, the assurance that we can
overcome what ever circumstances that come our way. The NYSC scheme
gives us this opportunity- an essential practical course for Nigerian
graduates- but it is the NYSC experience you create (remember the word
'you create') or encounter and how you interprete them that will
determine your opinion about the scheme.
This takes us down to the fact that NYSC is a life lesson not
particularly a blessing.
Like I said earlier, it's about your personal NYSC experiences and how
you interprete them. I personally had a load of Nysc experiences,
enough to take to the opinion that the scheme is a total waste of
time. But on a second thought, I probably wouldn't have had the
opportunity to learn from that perspective. We (I inclusive) most
times want to have everything going nice and easy for us. And when
they don't go our way, we criticize rather than analyze the situation.
Life has never being a bed of roses, at least, as far as I know. In
fact, NYSC even shields you from some real societal difficultes
(you'll understand this better went you've lost your ajuwaya
NYSC is a real life learning experience. If you learn to see things
from the reality-perspective, you'll find Your service year a life
transforming experience, filled with lessons, adventure and better
understanding how far you've come in life. Then and only then can you
truely answer the question 'NYSC-a blessing or curse to Nigerian
The NYSC course is a lesson worth attending.
I'd love to here your honest opinion.