Nigeria Matters

Why The NYSC Should Be Abolished Now

The National Youth Service Corp was created with great fanfare and enthusiasm in the late seventies and for years, it lived up to its purpose of creating:

A. A broad-based understanding of the matrix of Nigeria as a country
B. A national-guard conceptual approach that trained new graduates to be disciplined, understanding of varied cultures and mentally fit to handle the pressures of live
C. An integral but valid service to a nation who then subsidized education for all
D. A foundational experience of the work sector through reasonably balanced work-oriented disciplinary experiences gained, and
E. A true sense of patriotism among Nigerian youths.

Today, the NYSC has not only lost it purpose and values, it is a disaster as indicated by the complete mismanagement of the entire process. Granted that it creates jobs for the highly connected citizens that find their positions as an enrichment opportunity and a chance to not only (a) solicit outrageous bribes from poor students prior to posting, (b) solicit bribes to determine when and where one gets posted, and (c) post their relatives to the best corporations that are likely to retain them after their services, the NYSC also creates an environment for compounded problems such as (a) illicit quid-pro-quo sex trades among the administrators and the female students getting posted, sometimes leading to the spread of HIV and other sexual diseases, (b) punishment for the decent members of the country that are unwilling to trade their honor and body for favorable treatments, (c) frustration and a long-lasting taste of disgust in the mind of honorable individuals who truly want to serve their country, (d) unnecessary deaths through accidents on our poorly maintained roadways, (e) painful disappearance of innocent children to “ritualists” prevalent all over the nation, (f) undue hardship on parents, relatives and/or spouses who often have to borrow to pay for the expenses associated with ensuring that one meets their service requirements and (g) unnecessary separation of families for no validated reason.

Can anyone truly recall the return-on-investment on the part of a youth corper or the nation within the last ten years beside the enrichment of the pockets of those hired to manage the posting system? I completely doubt it. All I remember from the experiences of my siblings that served in the nineties is the added stress it brought to the family when we sometimes couldn’t reach our loved ones for months because they were buried in some remote region in the country without appropriate amenities to make basic contacts. Alternatively, we had the options of bribing our way to our handpicked locations but refused because it was not the right thing to do. Over time, we very quickly learned, that to get posted at all, one had to pay a price. I will love to see the policy that governs the National Youth Service Corp System. I challenge anyone to show me where it specifies the current putrid, poor integrity rules being applied today.

This is an opportunity for change. Blames aside, feelings unattached, it is important to bring to the awareness of the leaders of our nation, the need to scrap the National Youth Service today. Put it to rest for it has lost its purpose. It is time to stop placing our citizens in positions where they are faced with temptations daily. People are human and can’t handle all that combustible stress and open windows of teasing and bribery. Hebrews 4:14 says, “Jesus is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, for when He lived on earth He was tempted in every way that we are, yet He never sinned.” The reality is, this is Jesus and unlike Him, when men or women are tempted, they sometimes fall preys to those temptations. As to why we should intentionally continue to place temptations in front of highly compromising citizens who view every (just and unjust) opportunity, as the last is questionable. Temptation is simply what the NYSC creates amongst Nigerians that are involved in both the administrations (dispensation of duties and roles) and implementation (Youth Corpers) of the requirements of the National Service.

OBJ did an honorable thing eradicating a similar poorly managed, danger-filled program once named “toll gates”. It is time to migrate that same appropriateness of reasoning to other dead-end programs that takes away rather than enrich the nation. It is time to stop the painful death of our young citizens through accidents associated with the long windy trips they have to take to serve a country that sometimes doesn’t even know what some of its programs are for. Every step taken to address inadequacies in the system is a plus to the leadership of OBJ. There has to be a shift from the obvious to the not so obvious but the goal is to address existing decaying problems that may not seem like crisis but truly are. The cost of allowing the NYSC to remain far outweighs its benefits and a rapid, dramatic rule driven by the intent to create a model for future leaders, augmented with a requirement that qualifications and fairness be used in hiring our new graduates will perhaps set a portal towards a balanced approach to eradicating corruption at some levels. Even if the system fails to change immediately, at least a new mechanism would have been set in place.

Dr. Sylvester Fadal
Moco_f@yahoo.com
San Jose, CA USA

28 Comments

  1. NYSC should be abolished .its a waste of national resources.ladies are force to put on trousers against there wish and religion. This has jeopardized freedom of religion practice in Nigeria.they allow Muslims to put on hijab and force Christian s who doesn’t want to put on trousers to wear them,this will soon generate religious crisis if not abolished. Students are been killed for nothing and govt is always hide under on unending investigations ,this most stop.freedom of movement is also jeopardized students are forced to go where they don’t want to go.this is carlous. and unacceptable.

    Reply
  2. Everyone has a right to his opinion, so do you. But please for a minute, listen to the extremes of atrocities you described e.g “removing a girl’s private part “.How obscene it sounds! I wish some reasonable ones among Nigerian leaders read a thing like this, maybe they would not used corp member in the forefront at the polls, and save the lives of many.

    Reply
  3. why i agree with the writer on the issues raised,i disagre that the scheme should be scraped. am currently serving in Kano state the people here are agressive,unflexible intolerant and unwelcoming.time will not permit me to go futher.you talked on sex trade and been vulnerable to temptation,i think people should set thier standards to help them in such situations,if you do you may not even consider the option.accidents can not be prevented you can be involved in it where ever you are or are you saying people wouldn’t travel except for NYSC? a past D G of NYSC was kidnaped in the church-tell me where in nigeria one is safe from ritualists and kidnapers? a girl’s private parts were removed in kano last year but we were told in camp not to accept lifts nor follow men to their houses to trade sex talking about toll gates my elder sister’s baby was kidnaped the men were caught at the toll gate in benue state the girl is 8years now.all am saying is do your best to be careful and dont leave God and He will see you thruogh i work in a radio station i did a report on this topic and discovered most x-corpers are for it apart from that i think your economic background is more sound than mine which is why you may not understand that i need it, take for instance you dont need to lecture your siblings on the need for self confidence in geting and keeping a job but i had to consciously learn that. it xposes one and widens your out look finally,think of the job opportunities, the numerous families whose’ lively hood comes from NYSC. am not denying the shortcomings but the scheme only needs modifications

    Reply
  4. I want to thank Dr Fadal for posting such an amazing article.It is so amazing due to the importance and relevance of the issue elabarorated. Infact NYSC is a big problem in NIgeria but it should not be abolished rather the Govt should ensure that something be done to maintain it purpose. I need the help of the general public to please communicate to the Government that they should come to the aid of students in the university of Calabar who did the so-called consultancy programmes (CES) in various departments of the university. They should please be included for NYSC because 90% of the student in those departments are below 30yrs and could not be employ without NYSC discharge certificate, as it is one of the criteria for employment in Nigeria. Pls help because I am seriously affected. I studied Accounting(CES) from the university of calabar and finished 2007 but uptill now my final year result has not yet been released and no hope for NYSC as we are told that all (CES) students are not going for NYSC after graduation. This is not fair, the school should have informed the students before admitting them not when they have finished. Who ever can be of help should please communicate to the Minister of Education to look into this matter. This is one of the way NYSC could be reformed.

    Reply
  5. I disagree with most of the articles on the NYSC here. we do not need to scrap the program ionstead we need to use it to develop various short comings in our economy.

    for example i would advocate that the scheme be increased from one year to two. and all members except doctors should all be made to FARM yes become farmers to solve our food crises. If graduates get involved with farming things will change in the agricultural sector. and our coppers will be contributing positively to the economy. They can even be made to take part of the proceeds as income subsidy. by the time we start exporting food abroad we will have sorted the food crises and I bet farming will become a more sophisticated profession and a lot of our graduates will probably at the ned of their service remain as farmers ( they will have had 2 years apprenticeship for free ). There is no need to pump billions importing rice when we can grow it with the aid of our NYSC coppers. The scheme can be made voluntary to secondary school leavers and young unemployed garduates while still making it compulsory as it is now to all our new graduands.

    Reply
  6. The NYSC is a system like many others including the country itself that has gone wrong due to mismanagement etc. by the selfish ‘things’ we are unfortunate to have in power. But unfortunately some young and maybe naive ones like us still look forward to going back to serve our country. Scrapping the NYSC will have no positive effect on the system. And no matter how bad it may be, i still believe there are more benefits in the programme than we might actually see.

    Reply
  7. the NYSC scheme should be given a second thought, if it is not achieving its original vision then i should be scrapped. it is like one wasted year

    Reply
  8. I understand your frustration towards the program but I feel your proposal to abolish it is a bit cowardly.

    The purpose of NYSC is not the one with the problem, it is the people and the management behind it. Problems like that can be changed with reform and not just running away from it. The Nigerian youth hardly have a sense of patriotism anymore (unless they are watching football) and I don't believe shutting down this program will help the nation one bit.

    I would call for better management and better funds for tools that would educate the NYSC campers as well as help them in their activities.

    Reply
  9. I support what dr fadal said, let nysc be abolished and the money allocated for it should be given to graduates to live pending the time they will get job.graduates are suffer in nigeria ooooooo

    Reply
  10. I think you are speaking the mind of many NIgerians today. I for one pray that this death trap called NYSC be abolished. I intend to put up this article in the newspaper so more people can read it. I'll also reference appropriately. I hope something is done and quickly too so I do not have to go through the useless program next month.

    Reply
  11. Thank God that somebody somewhere feels the same way i feel . Pls let this so called NYSC jamboree be scraped. It has a zero return on investment. Can our leaders sum up the financial,human, times and other resources sunk so far and weigh it against the so called 'benefits'. Pls waste no time in scraping this NYSC thing. These resources can be channeled into funding the education sector. Why they would resist is because they are gaining at the expense of the youth corpers. A situation where a serving corper will agree to give his or her monthly allowance to the powers that be at the secretariat and goes to God knows where. After wards this same person will come to win the 'BEST' serving corper. NA wao. In short this country Nigeria is best described as," a land that devours its inhabitants."

    Well since there is time for everything under the sun. It will surely end one day, I submit prophetically.

    Reply
  12. i wish the new ggovernment we have in this country could adhere to article,take for instance somebody like me have spend more than a year waiting for nysc posting.

    Reply
  13. This is a great opportunity given to us to communicate nysc issues accross the globe. I finished from university of Calabar 2005 and up till this 2007, i havent gone for service. Please do help me tell the minister of educatio that the mathematics/statistics department of university of calabar would never produce intellectuals if they still allow EVIL DEMONIC OCCULTIC SARDISTIC and WICKED lecturers like dr Udofia(present HOD), mr William(a demonically possessed womaniser), mr isaac(the god) and others. How can 132 students attend the class of the HOD and 90 failed after the exams and nothing was done. If these men are not cautioned, two things will happen soon: (1) they will infect and corrupt these new lectures who are already treading their evil paths. Felix, Ewara and mrs Eteng, take care and dont stand against the destiny of any student. (2) there will be an uproar within the students cults and it will lead to blood bath. No lecturer will be speared. rememba that the building that carries those three departments, has the most dreaded, feared and highest number of cult students. I am only saying as an outsider but please i wish i could speak directly with the minister of education and such. thanks and take care.

    Reply
  14. I think NYSC should not be abolished because it has not outlived it's usefulness,it makes and helps youth to exchange ideas,to be more patriotic and serve this nation better,it also encourages unity inspite of our diversities,your article is great,keep it up.

    Reply
  15. i did not only find impressing n interesting the article but has also been of the view that it should either be made optional or completetly scrapped ever since my undergraduate days i have always held this opinion.today,i am a victim of this nysc system.after graduating since july last year we re still at home with no certificate still waiting for deployment that may never come,2day we re being told on the news that the budget for nysc for the year has been exhausted that we might hav to wait till next year.wats going on in nigeria.i intend to organise a rall by august if no gd news is forthcoming.

    Reply
  16. NYSC is not only a waste of time but it is very dangerous and abusive because it exposes these young school leavers who are very vulnerable to unimaginable dangers. One month of booth camp is not necessary unless you are planning to coerce everyone into the army at the end. Thanks.

    Reply
  17. Dr Fadal has done a good job in giving an elaborate description of the reality of NYSC in Nigeria. The problem is quite extensive and far-reaching because the whole system is in decay. NYSC in theory is a laudable idea and it meant the required purpose in the 1970s. I remember when many current politicians where given "Volkswagon Beetle" car immediately they finished their NYSC placement and a letter of employment. Those were good old days. That was when the value of Nigerian Naira was about one to one with British pound sterling. The fund is still available today in Nigeria but the same politicians who enjoyed the NYSC in 1970s are now making a mockery of the whole concept. What a waste on the generations of youths in Nigeria? It is unfortunate. God will judge the ungodly.

    Reply
  18. I'm currently a victim of the "USELESS" scheme called NYSC, time and space will not permit me to share what i'm curently passing tru, could anyone imagine that i was posted to an NYSC state sectretariat for my primary assignment and the so called NYSC state secretariat could not provide an accomodation for me. i had to source for 43 thousand naira to secure a bedroon in a remote part of enugu township (abakpa to be specific). this scheme is tantamount to rubish, corpers scream everyday in agony of unfriendly folks called neihbours.lack of financial empowermnt,etc PLS,PLS,PLS and PLS cancel this schem, or at least review it so dat it can have a positive effect on the nigerian young folks.

    Reply
  19. i think the writer has been able to do justice to some of his reasons ,but the fact still remain that nysc is a round peg in a round hole 'if the real objective of the programme can be revitalised. which is better than eradicating it.

    Reply
  20. U have got something very important here.., I wish u take this message to Mr. President and also assist in prayers so that those bad eggs could be separated from the good ones.

    NYSC to me is not doing anything good, ur points are my mind. Keep revealing the truth, fear no man… God is on ur side.

    Austin Nnamdi… Owerri(ank4782@yahoo.com)

    Reply
  21. Time for Change should be the call not outright abolishment of the service. The National Youth service Corp has got some success stories. Proper evaluation of the Organizations administration and programs needs to take place before any options

    If I may quote you “The goal is to address existing decaying problems”

    I love your article, points are well taking but to abolish the service should not be the call.

    Chike Nwobu

    Reply
  22. Dr. Fadal, I think this is your best article so far due to the importance and the relevance of the issues you so strongly and eloquently elaborated. I agree. The NYSC has lost its intended purpose. It is time for a change.

    Keep up the good work.

    Reply

Post Comment