Making the best use of Nigeria NYSC skill acquisition program

At last the line went through and was able to chat a bit after 2 days of incommunicado.

“It was the election, very stressful” My niece told me.

“Were you paid?”

“Yes, we were, 10k naira”

My niece went on with her version of what went on ground at her election poll station. Corpers in her area have no choice of opting out of election clerk assignment, everyone allocated a place must report to duty.

I thought it was cool they get paid for their time however, what I think is incredible most was the opportunity for Corpers to see first hand how Nigeria leaders are elected and in many occasions ‘selected’.

Mid last year when my niece was preparing for her NYSC assignment so I read a bit online what Nigeria youths thought of their one year service and how incoming Otondos can best prepare for the journey.

I was thoroughly entertained reading from my nation’s youths – most older than 21. The common message from young men was that NYSC year was the year to ‘connect with God’- Really? People in this category will come back home full grown adults and still expect parents to feed them, so I moved on.

The other popular ‘advice’ from young men was that NYSC year was the year to let lose of their ‘dragons’ Really? Do you need a whole year to get laid? To this folks, I say grow up.

Ladies cracked me up a bit as their NYSC year was the year to look for husband.

Niece was posted to a remote village in Plateau state.

Mates were super cool and neighbours nice. I trusted a 23 years to be old enough to make her own decision but I was concerned that being away from home, one need to keep feeding mind with reminders that there are more options than getting laid/marriage/religion to focus on with spare time.

During the three week at the camp, the group was divided into smaller ones, each allocated taster lesson of a few skills i.e bead making, ICT and leather work.

My niece was in leather work group, she loved the program. After the camp, the tutor offered to continue teaching if enough Corpers could form a group.

Eight from her PPA coughed out 15k naira for 10months for twice a week lesson, fee included materials.

When niece was going to her station in January, my advice was to make sure she managed to live with 19k naira of government monthly stipend – little but reality is most Nigerian graduates would not be able to make that after service year.

If it’s proving difficult, be creative and find a way to supplement your income so you don’t rely on anyone to top up – dependancy don’t last.

At her place of primary assignment, she has one SS3 class students to teach twice a week. The school pays 3k naira. She took a second job at a school nearby teaching them same subject, chemistry twice a week, that school pays 4k naira.

After three months, niece has made a big tote, a clutch and currently working on a messenger bag.

“Okay, please tell me sister, how do you manage to fit in your leather work and soap making ‘enterprise’ in all of these?”  I asked.

Her response was plenty of belly laugh on the other side, she loved the independent life and the chance to be creative while making the best of her time.

What I know for sure was that even if for some reason my niece didn’t go back to university to finish up what she wanted to do, she is definitely not going to be used as a political tout or waste her time running after immigration vacancies to hell.



Categories: Education, Nigeria

Tags: , , , ,

11 replies

  1. I am intrigued to learn that voters are paid to vote. Nigeria is a tough country and I admire your citizens to be able to live there despite challenges. My wish is for Nigeria to have peace and prosperity like us 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a very delightful story of a young lady making good of her situation. It will be just great if the entire nation think and act more like her. Bravo to your niece…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What distinguishes your niece from many in the crowd of corpers is her independent nature, industriousness and her eye for opportunity. I like her versatility, from chemistry to craft enterprises. She deserves congratulations. ‘She is going places…’ as they say.
    It is a shame that she is so unusual in her generation of corpers. Everyone else seemed to be looking for something to cling onto be it a man (for the ladies) or God (for the men).
    My question is why did the parents allow her to go to Plateau (that is a blood spattered state)? Their political wranglings frequently express themselves in violence and the authorities there have proven and themselves to be incapable and/or unwilling to solve the situation. Many innocent corpers have in the past been caught up (through no fault of their own) in the mindless violence that occurs there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks jco. I think there are few corpers around who are sensible enough to take advantage of the service year. Niece’s tutor was a corper in Osun state 3 years ago, he also instead of dreaming of ‘e go better’ chose a realistic path of earning, now he does beads and leather work training – Corpers are always out throughout the year so will never run out of work.

      What I’d love to see happening is this program to be a mandatory across board and perhaps subsidised for ongoing training after the camp.
      At the moment each state have different attitude towards it. Apparently SW take this much more seriously than Central Nig where my niece is.
      Realistically some corpers may not be able to afford the extra training, but sometimes it’s hard to help adults who choose Brazilian hair over sustainable skill.

      That’s a good point re why niece is allowed to go to Jos. Now, she could have tried to change for so many reasons. However, after visiting her camp, she didn’t think her area was dangerous and also there has not been any history of violence of any kind there. Her description of the village makes my village in the SW looks like a city.

      So far so good with people.

      Like

      • Ha, I just laughed when you said that some corpers may choose Brazilian hair to sustainable skills. I agree that should not be used as an excuse by government to forsake their duties. They should do what is expected to maximise the propects of success for the corpers.

        Liked by 1 person

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