What is the value of NYSC for young Nigerians today? ABSOLUTE NOTHING!
Before anyone goes into the argument of how it provides first time job opportunities, national integration, economic benefits etc, I’d like to point out that if graduates didn’t have to wait for an NYSC posting, they would have started job hunting and placements form the final year of university. National integration? This is not 1970. People are traveling more, watching more TV, listening to radio across the country; the internet is bridging a great deal of integration gaps. And by the way, decades of NYSC has not integrated us any more than before then.
The economic benefit of NYSC is a myth. N18,000 monthly is just minimum wage, the equivalent of unskilled labour! If these graduates were employed, they most likely would have been better paid.
The average wait period for an NYSC call up is about 6 months. In most cases, this is time spent doing nothing but wait. Because a lot of graduates think it’s illegal to hold a job without NYSC discharge, they just wait, while their brains rot.
This week, some smart young men with full time development jobs realized that the new NYSC rules require them to serve in rural areas only, and that on top of that, they can only teach.
Because these guys managed to get full time jobs in this difficult market, it’s easy understand their horror, that even if they got posted to Lagos, they could not even be pulled in to continue their jobs, and their employers may have to lay them off. Suddenly, because some rocket scientists at the NYSC headquarters had a brainwave, hundreds, if not thousands of young Nigerians have had their life plans made for them, with them being the losers.
In the past, one could at least get posted to a good enough company to get decent exposure, or a company which has recognized talent could pull in a graduate pre-NYSC, and simply get them to serve on the job. But now, that’s about impossible.
Of course, if NYSC rules allow private schools to get postings, it could open a door for my uncle who owns a small private school to request for corps members, who just happen to spend a lot more time at my office, but the big IF is if private schools will be in on the NYSC party.
One day, some genius in the education, youth or planning ministry will wake up and realize that Nigerian graduates are not competitive because instead of getting sharp for the market after graduation, the spent their most significant post college years waiting for a posting that turned out to be a waste of time.