5 LESSONS I LEARNT AT THE FIRST QUARTER OF MY SERVICE YEAR


Source:nysc.org.ng
It has been three months into my National Youth Service Corp which means that I am through with the first quarter of the NYSC program.  I must say it's been fun, interesting and at the same time challenging. As expected I have been confronting each stage of the program courageously, after all I don't have any other choice lol.
According to the National Youth Service Corp ,the main objective of the scheme is inculcate values and morals, discipline into Nigerians therefore integrating them and fostering unity  among Nigerian youths. The NYSC program was founded by Decree No. 24 of May 22nd 1973.
If you are a Nigerian studying abroad or you are here in Nigeria studying or must have completed your study and awaiting your mobilization into the NYSC, please stick around to the end of this post because you will learn something. And to you who is either a working class or one thing or the other please share this post to every Nigerian graduate and Undergraduate you know.
YES! it is time for business.
Because I love sharing with all of you, I decided to share 5 lessons that I learnt in the first three months of my NYSC program.



THEY ARE
PERSEVERANCE IS KEY: I thought I was a perseverer (if there is such English lol) until I became a Youth Corper. Chai!  the devil almost dance shoki on my head. Wondering how? It all began when I entered the National Youth Service Corp orientation camp Obubra, Cross River State where I was mobilised to. The moment we (Corp members) approached the gate of the orientation camp, the soldiers told us to carry our luggages on our heads and jog inside the camp.
My Ajebutter spirit began to shiver,I began shedding tears expecting pity and empathy from the ruthless soldiers but guess what,  It was the reverse I got. By the time I saw that others who couldn't jog while their big boxes was on their heads were told to kneel  and carry their luggages, that was when I pulled myself together, wiped my tears and summoned courage to carry my big luggage that looked like I was packing to my husband's house lol.

True talk - the first two weeks was hideous,from the ever trumpeting beagle to sleeping by 11:00pm at night and waking up by 2am just because I needed to be set before the sound of the beagle just to avoid soldiers punishment. I won't lie it was hard to adjust at first but after few days I adjusted anyway and became a pro at it. the environment was not friendly at all but I had to tell myself that YES! Dominika you have to persevere, you can do this.

I must not forget to mention the horrendous soldiers who just derived pleasures in teasing and punishing Otondos (Corpers) in the orientation. Well the end story I later got used to them, l even became friends with some. It was a pleasure Officers. Shun Sirs! lol.
I and one of our platoon officer
                 

I and some of the beautiful souls I met in camp with Officer Solomon

I also remember how perseverance saw me through all the long hours of matching "under the sun or in the rain"(well,in my case  it was under the sun and in harmattan because my batch was mobilized during the era of Mr White, lol),all the squatting,standing,sitting under the sun and on the red sandy ground of Obubra camp.

I won't lie  ooo, So many times I cried on the line because the sun was like hell fire made in Nigeria, my jungle boot often times gave me blisters and well the Khaki uniform suffocated me under the sun. It was truly an adventure.  believe me it was like riding on a roller coaster - some stages I screamed, cried and enjoy. 

I won't also forget my after camp experience. Oh!  how I struggled for a reposting for another Place of Primary Assignment when I was rejected by the first. The hustle was tight my friends but it's a story for another day, I shall share it someday. 

Bottom Line - my endurance level was tested and strengthen but I didn't give up, I didn't break down. I persevered.

RELATED:MY NYSC: THE JOURNEY TO OBUBRA CAMP

CONTENTMENT: I learnt that greed and jealousy are evil twins that can work together to devour the soul of the child of God.

Not like I am the greedy type ooo neither am I the jealous type but you know how the devil can take advantage of someone in needy times. It is that time that you will remember to borrow from your fellow Corper who has what you don't have, from asking for an inch you begin to ask for the whole mile. And sometimes when you are being refused, you become jealous and bitter at your friend or neighbor.

I had to tame my eyes and my mind to be contented before leaving home for NYSC. I promise you being a Corp member is not a joke, it's almost a voluntary year to serve your father's land.

I prepared my mind to survive and live on the allawee (allowance) that the federal government gives me monthly.

I was never the "give give me " kind of person and I learnt not to start during NYSC just for the sake of fitting in among other Corpers.

I learnt to be prudent with my resources,manage them and use them efficiently.

I learnt that I was never going to have enough clothes to wear to different hangouts with the girls all in the the name of Corper life. I will  always stick out like a sore thumb.

I realized contentment was being able to live a life free of envy, jealousy and greed. Life takes turns but while the table is still turning, I am patiently working hard and preparing myself and waiting for my turn.

RESPONSIBILITY IS A HABIT: Because NYSC is an entirely different ground, it breeds the good and the bad. You will have to decide which side you are on.

Living alone, far and separated from my loved ones was a challenge just when I was adjusting to life after university, NYSC callup letter arrived. (which was a very welcomed development)

I took it upon myself, the responsibility to serve my country Nigeria. At my Place of Primary Assignment I learnt to complete tasks when given within limited time.

Truth is even though my PPA is the best to serve as a Corper, I wasn't given an accommodation which I am not making a fuss about because I am enjoying other benefits. But I was sheltered by other Corp members in the lodge provided by their own place of primary assignment (which I will always be greatful for).

There I also have a sense of responsibility and I cultivated the habit of making sure that I take part in the cleaning of the Corpers lodge,safeguarding the properties disregarding that fact that "I am just a Corper, with my luggage I came here and with my luggage I will go out".Watching out and being a sister's or brother's keeper is a responsibility because habits formed die hard, I had to make it one of my habits thanks to NYSC.

WORK ETHICS AND ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS: I am a Corper serving in  Cross River State Internal Revenue Service,Tax office, Ikom local government area (IRS).NYSC has given me another chance to practice the theoretical part of my study.

In addition I learnt that certain factors come together to create a strong work ethics and organizational skills, that as an employee I must have integrity to build a strong,trusting  and long lasting relationship among clients, coworkers and supervisors(In IRS Tax office I rotate between two groups; Tax Assessment group and Tax enforcement group). I shall do a blog post on my service year in Cross River State Internal Revenue Service.

I learnt that a sense of responsibility determines the amount of work an employee does.

I learnt that emphasis on quality is a value, an employee must always give her best while undertaking any task assigned to her.

I learnt that adequate attention must be given to the welfare of the employees by employer.

I learnt that it also takes discipline to complete those task assigned to an employee within the given time frame.

I learnt effective planning and scheduling.

I learnt organizational skills.

I learnt about various IRS Ranks and duties. I learnt how to organize files and whom to meet for instructions.

Most importantly I learnt that team work is what keeps a company together. Team work helps the company to meet up with the organization's goals and objectives.


INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIP: Coming to service I met Nigerian graduates from different states with different cultures, religions, languages and beliefs. I learnt to relate and interact with them peacefully, accept their different cultures and beliefs not disregarding them because of these factors.

I learnt to respect others views I learnt to safeguard my mouth, my temper on when something is said against my beliefs nor the beliefs of either fellow Corp members or the indigenes of the state were I am serving.

Going down to IRS (My PPA) I learnt to bond and work with the staffs there.
It's has been an interesting first quarter of service year. I shall update you on the second quarter when I get there so be sure to subscribe to the blog.

Here are some abbreviations and meanings that I will be using interchangeably in this segment of the blog  titled LIFE OF A NIGERIAN CORPER. Just so that you will not find it strange when ever you come across it.

NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE CORP ABBREVIATIONS AND FULL MEANINGS

NYSC:National Youth Service Corp.

A CORPER: A Nigerian youth between the age of 18 and 30 undergoing a mandatory service for his/her country Nigeria for a period of one year.

PPA: Place of Primary Assignment. Where a Corp member is posted to for the service year after the orientation camp. A Corp member can be rejected or be accepted.
REPOSTING LETTER: A letter issued by the Zonal Inspector to Corp members who have been rejected by their initial Place of Primary Assignment.

LETTER OF REQUEST: This is a letter given to a Corp member by an organization addressed to the Zonal inspector, requesting for the services of specific Corp members. In most cases,it is the discretion of the Zonal inspector to either honor the request by posting Corp members to that organization or to dishonor the request,because it is solely under his/her jurisdiction.

Z.I: Zonal Inspector. This is an authority in the National Youth Service Corp governing body. He/she is in charge of Corp members posted to his/her zone. A zone is made up of local government areas. The ZI is under the State Coordinator.

L.I: Local Government Inspector. He/she is also an authority in NYSC in charge of Corp members posted to his/her local government area. The L.I is in charge of Corp members monthly clearance and other delegated duties. The L.I is under the Z.I.

THE STATE COORDINATOR: This is the head in charge of all the affairs of NYSC in a state. The Zonal inspector, Local Government Inspector, Clerk etc are under the authority of the State Coordinator.

THE CLERK: This is an official in NYSC Secretariat. Documents pass through him to the Z.I and L.I. he files  and keeps them for record purposes.

C.L.O: Corper Liaison Officer. A Corp member elected by the L.I to coordinate the affairs of Corp members at the NYSC Secretariat. He/she represents  Corp members, makes sure that the rights of Corp members are respected. In other words, he/she is the Corpers mouth piece at NYSC Local government secretariat.

SERVICE YEAR: A mandatory period of one year required of all Nigerian graduates in Nigeria and abroad to serve their fatherland.

ALLAWEE/ALLOWANCE: A token paid by the Federal government of Nigeria, the state government. On few occasions, the Corp member's Place Of Primary Assignment gives a petty amount either monthly,weekly,or daily as a form of motivation for commitment during the service year.

CLEARANCE: A compulsory monthly verification activity commanded by NYSC for all Corp members to participate at the NYSC Secretariat before the payment of monthly allowance. All Corp members are to go with their clearance letter, present it before the L.I and sign the payroll(register) before they can be paid their monthly allowance by the Federal government.

CLEARANCE LETTER: A monthly letter signed and given by the PPA of a Corp member testifying that the Corp member was in service and of good conduct for that specific month.

THE SECRETARIAT: NYSC  building in a local government area where all the affairs of both Corp members and staffs are being coordinated.

CDS: Community Development Service. A fragment under NYSC engaged by Corp members to develop the community where they are serving. CDS groups are; service delivery group, culture and tourism, environmental, drug free group, NYSC band, just to mention a few.

PERSONAL CDS: An activity/project a Corp member takes upon his/herself in the local government where he/she is serving, supervised by the L.I . In most cases, the state or the federal government awards the Corp member for the project.

7/7: Seven over seven. The complete NYSC attire including the cap, the khaki shirt, crested vest, belt, khaki trouser, socks and jungle boots. On Corp members POP he/she puts on all the above except the khaki shirt -it's called "ceremonial attire".

POP: Passing Out Parade. A March pass held by NYSC for Corp members at the NYSC secretariat. It's on this day that a discharge certificate is being given to Corp members.

IRS: Cross River State Internal Revenue Service ,Ikom Local government area . This is my Primary Place of Assignment has a Corp member for a year of service.

TAX OFFICE: This is a department in IRS where I am currently serving as a Corp member.

IKOM LGA: This is a local government area in Cross River State, Nigeria. My PPA is here. I learnt that Ikom is a border town between Nigeria and Cameron and I do come across a lot of Cameroonians.

F.O.C: Free of Charge. Free benefits given to Corp members by the indigenes of a community, local government, state where they are serving.

Otondos: A funny name given to Corp members as a result of their curious and naive nature.

FAMILY HOUSE/CORPERS LODGE: A shelter organized for Corp members by an organization or by religious bodies.

Thank you for taking out time to read this long post as I hope it helps Nigerian Corpers, and graduates/undergraduates  hoping  to become a Corper.
As I always, I pray to God that this post reaches you in good health.

Yours in service.

I will love to know your thoughts on this post.

 Are you a Corp member currently or a    prospective Corp member?
 What are some lessons you learnt or  presently learning as a Nigerian youth  Corper?
 What are some of the NYSC abbreviations  and meanings that you know?
 Was this post helpful?


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15 comments

  1. Very long post hun, wish I had the time to read through properly but I definitely took away something from this. NYSC is not easy especially when you're on your own, I luckily stayed with a family friend and that made my service year. I am quite amazed that you are able to survive on allowee, cudos hun. Contentment and responsibility are definitely important in this life so its good to pick it up. Finally, I''m glad that you're making the most of your service year.

    Princess Audu

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    1. Thank you so much Sarah for reading the post. Yes! contentment must be picked up.

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  2. Nice post dear.. I'm glad you are making the most of your service year, most Corp members think NYSC is just a waste of time and they make nothing out of it...pls Keep it up

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    1. Truly NYSC is not a waste of time. It just depends on whether you are participating and drawing some lessons from the program. Thank you so much Delaney for reading.

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  3. Personally I loathe NYSC and everything that comes with it,but in some ways I guess it is a necessary evil. Nice post...xxx

    www.sunlightdreamer.com

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  4. Lol @nysc being a necessary evil. I believe it's also necessary to pass through that phase of life. It's educating. Thank you Ifunaya for reading.

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  5. Very detailed post I must say. My service year was fun. I was posted to a federal school where corps members were paid extra 5k. More motivation!lol. I wish I had started blogging back then but no regrets. If possible, I think you should acquire a skill before POP. It really helps.

    Evita In Progress

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    1. Federal school paying 5k! that's really commendable. I'm working on acquiring a skill before I pass out. Thanks so much for reading Evita I appreciate it.

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  6. Speechless
    But we are all in the game and we will survive. Answering the clarion call
    God bless your hand work God bless Nigeria.
    Good job keep it up dear.....wink

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    1. Yes we are all in the business and may God help us all. Ilori thank you for always taking your time to read my blog post.

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  7. lol this post is so detailed. Felt like a social studies text boo at first expecially the abbreviations and their full meanings part. I have never heard of Obubra in Nigeria before, this is my first time. I'm dreading this NYSC like I don't want to go through it for anything. May God help us sha!

    xx



    What You Need To Stop Doing If You Really Want To Get Over Him

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  8. Lol @ felt like a social studies text book at first. I just wanted to make sure that I carry every body along. Daniella you don't have to dread NYSC program, it's a necessary stage in the life of every young Nigerian graduate. I'm glad you visited the blog and hope you stick around. God bless you dear.

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  9. This is amazing. Very detailed . I am sure it would do some corper to be or new corper good.

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    1. @Abisola thank you for having the patience to read the long post and yes it will definitely be helpful to Corpers.

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