The NYSC scheme was created in a bid to reconstruct, reconcile and rebuild the country after the Nigerian Civil war. The unfortunate antecedents in our national history gave impetus to the establishment of the National Youth Service Corps by decree No.24 of 22nd May 1973 which stated that the "NYSC is being established with a view to the proper encouragement and development of common ties among the youths of Nigeria and the promotion of national unity".
As a developing country, Nigeria is further plagued by the problems attendant upon a condition of under development, namely; poverty. mass illiteracy, acute shortage of high skilled manpower (coupled with most uneven distribution of the skilled people that are available), woefully inadequate socioeconomic infrastructural facilities, housing. Water and sewage facilities, road, healthcare services, and effective communication system. . Faced with these almost intractable problems, which were further compounded by the burden of reconstruction after the civil war, the government and people of Nigeria set for the country, fresh goals, and objectives aimed at establishing Nigeria as:
(a) a united, strong and self reliant nation:
(b) a great and dynamic economy;
(c) a land of bright and full opportunities for all citizens; and
(d) a free and democratic society.
It is a culture in Nigeria, that once a student graduates from the University or a polytechnic, with a degree or National Higher Diploma, (HND), he or she is sent to a state in Nigeria to serve the Nation.
'Youths obey the clarion call, let us lift our nation high, under the sun and in the rain, with dedication and selflessness, Nigeria ours, Nigeria, we Serve.'
The above is the National Anthem of every Youth corp member in Nigeria. And for 30+ years, it has sounded sure and true. The NYSC Scheme has 3 stages, the 3 weeks of orientation camping, the Community Development Services (done once a week), and The Place of Primary Assignments, (where each corp member is posted to after the orientation camp and where he is to serve for one year).
NYSC has not been without its ups and downs, with tales of killings and abductions of Corp Members every where, every state. But good things are always met with resistance. As a Youth Corp Member myself, I believe in the NYSC, and I believe in its vision. It is the single unifying factor in Nigeria that has survived so long.
Long Live Nigeria. Long live the NYSC!