NYSC CAMP CHRONICLES : My view on NYSC || Finding my way to Lagos || camp registration || settling down
May 15, 2018
You know how excited almost every Nigerian graduate feels about the NYSC (National Youth Service Corp) scheme? Yep, not me! I was actually hoping NYSC will be scrapped off by the time I was done with school. Like can’t we use the one year to intern in companies related to our fields of study? Cause half of the Corp members if not more than half get posted to schools or places not related to their field of study in school. While some of us are lucky to go to developed cities, some others aren’t so lucky they get posted to still developing cities with little to no health facilities. Some get terribly sick cause of the environment while some not so lucky ones end up dead! Can you count how many death has been recorded on camp since the NYSC scheme started? I think I’ve lost count! While we still wait for health facilities to get improved in all NYSC orientation camps, let’s talk about the monthly allowance popularly called “alawee”. I still don’t understand why we get to receive 19,800 naira when we have transportation to pay for, health bills to pay for, feeding, accommodation and some other necessities. If we’d be sent to any part of the country to serve our father’s land, why can’t most of our bills be properly taken care of? Why do we have to spend 21 days in camp standing under the sun and in the rain? (I truly hope to get the answers to these many questions some day).
Finding my way to Lagos This wasn’t as difficult as I thought, cause I had never been to Lagos. I traveled to Lagos using the ABC transport sprinter bus and I was lucky to have a friend who lives in Lagos travel with me! I left owerri by 7am and by 3pm I was in Lagos State. Stopped at Berger and my friend put me in a straight cab to Iyana-Ipaja Agege (location for NYSC orientation camp Lagos), there was little to no traffic so in less than 45 minutes I was in camp.
Camp Registration and Settling down So from the camp gate, I got searched to make sure I had no contraband goods and also to make sure I had everything required for the 21 days. Everyone was friendly at the gate and I got a little suspicious! Like have you ever seen a friendly soldier man? Cause I haven’t! When I was done at the gate, I was directed to the hostel (to get a bed space and all). By the time I got to the hostel I found myself in room 39 on the 4th floor! Like OMG! The 4th floor! And no elevators? Really? NYSC for reals?! I began to calculate how many pounds I was going to loose at the end of day 21.
So I got my bed space, top bunk directly under the fan; at first I felt sad, but by the time I realized we were 30 people in the room, staying top bunk under the fan felt great! I didn’t have to battle with feeling hot and if I feel cold I’d cover up! Everyone in the room kept acting friendly (I was totally uncomfortable with it cause I felt they were all pretending (trust issues)), I met a girl I felt comfortable with and for some reason we clicked immediately (Omon is her name). After getting the bed space, the next step was to go for the online registration, get our camp ID cards, get medical/kitchen pass (I didn’t bother getting both medical /kitchen pass cause I had no intentions of using the clinic or eating camp food, so this process made my registration somewhat short), get the NYSC kit. We were given 2 white shorts, 2 white vest, 1 white tennis shoe, 1 NYSC jungle boot, 1 NYSC crested white and the complete khaki set with the cap(we filled a form were all our sizes were given to NYSC, but for some reason they did random selections and a lot of people got smaller or bigger sizes of their kits and had to resort to exchanging with fellow prospective Corp members). After getting the complete kit, we had to put all required documents in a file and submit it, this was the last process of the registration! By the time I looked at my phone, it was 10pm! Like I spent 7 hours for registration? Unbelievable!
I quickly rushed to my room on the 4th floor, changed into my white on white (I came with 3pairs so I didn’t bother wearing the ones NYSC gave) then rushed down to buy something to eat (with the girl I clicked with 😊). By the time we got down, took a picture or two, walked into the mami market we heard the sound of the biggle and whistles! I was confused for a moment till someone said “it’s lights out go to your rooms”. I quickly bought a bottle of water and a pack of biscuit and hurried back up with Omon. Quickly changed to my night wear, had my biscuit and water and lay in bed wondering how I was going to wake up by 3am the next morning and how the remaining 20 days was going to be like! I set my alarm, started my count down then I dozed off asking God to make it an awesome /favor filled experience for me.
Have you served your “father’s land” yet? What was your experience like? And I’d love to know your take on the NYSC scheme in Nigeria!
PS || half way into this post, I realized I didn’t take much photos in the first week. But be rest assured every other NYSC Camp Chronicles will come with lovely photos ☺