The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) was set up in 1973 by the Yakubu Gowon administration. It involves graduates from universities and polytechnics in the country taking part in the development of the nation for one year. This is known as national service year. The major objectives of this scheme are integration and development.
Corps members are posted to cities far from their city of origin. They are expected to mix with people of other tribes, social and family backgrounds, to learn the culture of the indigenes in the place they are posted to. This action is aimed at bringing about unity in the country and to help youths appreciate other ethnic groups. But today, this posting has been marred with series of favoritism.
The two things that readily comes into the minds of prospective corps members are security and money. The former became necessary since the surge of the boko haram menace across the northern part of the nation. Prospective corps members, especially those from the southern part of the country now do all within their power to avoid been posted to the north. Many who can’t do anything about it, shun their call-up letters and wait for the next batch.
The question of money arises because of the huge disparity in the amount paid by the various state governments to corps members as allowance (popularly called “alawee” by corps members). While some states pay as much as N10,000, some others pay as little as N1,000. There are others that pay nothing at all. This prompts prospective corps members to seek postings to states with “greener pastures” and even when they fail, they do all they can to be redeployed.
The list below shows the amount each state government in Nigeria pay corps members in their state (as at the time of publishing this article). It is important to note that, there are several disparities in how corps members get paid. Some are paid monthly, others bi-annually, while others get theirs at the end of the service year (that is, if they get it at all). And for those in the medical field, they get higher pay than others. Some states reportedly pay corps members who are doctors between N80,000 and N100,000 and even more.
Abia – N5,000
Adamawa – N2,000
Akwa Ibom – N10,000
Anambra – N4,800
Bauchi – nil
Bayelsa – N3,000 (For those in the state capital, N4,000, for those in the mainland and N5,000, if you serve across the river)
Benue – nil
Borno – N1,000
Cross River – N3,090
Delta – N5,000 (Cumulative over 6 months, i.e. N30,000 twice)
Ebonyi – N5,000
Edo – nil
Ekiti – N5,000 (Stopped paying for a while now)
Enugu – N10,000
Gombe – N1,000
Imo – nil
Jigawa – N5,000
Kaduna – N3,000 (Collected in bulk at the end of the service year)
Kano – N4,000
Katsina – N4,000
Kebbi – N2,000
Kogi – N15,000 (Collected in bulk at the end of the service year)
Kwara – nil
Lagos – N15,000 (Corps members in Ministries get N10,000 while those in LGAs get N5,000)
Nasarawa – N5,000
Niger – N6,000
Ogun – 55,000 (at the end of your service year for those serving in state-owned schools)
Ondo – N5,000 (Promises to pay after POP, but never pays)
Osun – N5,000
Oyo – N3,800
Plateau – nil
Rivers – N10,000 (Promises to pay after POP, but never pays)
Sokoto – N4,000 (N9,000 to those in state hospitals)
Taraba – N10,000
Yobe – N2,500
Zamfara – N3,000
FCT, Abuja – nil
The NYSC has introduced a new arrangement after the 2015 Batch ‘B’ pre-mobilisation workshop held in Kaduna. They came up with a self-deployment scheme where prospective corps members can determine where they wish to serve. This is a welcome development even though many still have their reservations. The move is expected to curb fraud, which is often associated with the prevailing system associated with prospective corps members’ deployment.
It is important however for prospective corps members to remember that the main purpose of the National Youth Service Corps scheme, is not money, but service to the nation. When they put on that “khaki,” service to their fatherland should be topmost in their minds, come rain, come shine.