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The Foreign Trained Student Guide: Surviving NYSC

The purpose of this post is to provide necessary information pertaining to NYSC for those folks that schooled abroad.

  • Step 1: keep in mind, NYSC mobilizes graduates 3 times a year. The first – Batch A is around March, Batch B in June and Batch C in Nov. Registration close for foreign trained students a month before camp begin. So always check the NYSC website for updates in case anything changes.
  • Step 2: you have to physically appear at the NYSC headquarters in Abuja to register. This registration can take a whole day. I’ll advise you to schedule two days to complete registration. Make sure to take all ORIGINAL copies of your documents and make at least 8 photocopies of each document. Check their website for which documents to bring. Make sure to have your Nigerian passport. Have at least 30 passport photos and a pen. Start buying things you need for camp. For a sample list, check below.
  • Step 3: Wait for your ‘Call up Letter’. This letter shows what state you are deploy to serve and the start date of camp. You can request to pick up your call up letter from your state of residence (if you don’t live in Abuja). Usually you have between 4-5 days to report to camp from the date the call up letter is ready for pick up.
  • Step 4: Report to camp. It is advisable to report the very first day of camp. That way, you will have a head start with registration. Endure an intensive 3 weeks of paramilitary camp. For my camp experience, check out ‘It has been a very Long Thing’. On the last day of camp, you will be given another letter called ‘The Posting Letter’. This letter will either make you smile or cry because it shows what city/town/village and the institution you are expected to serve for the remaining 11 months of the program. In the ideal world, you cannot choose where you will be posted. But in reality, you can actually arrange it in camp to get posted to a favorable place. Ask around in camp (the soldiers cannot help you with this), it might cost you some money.
  • Step 5: Report to whatever institution in the city/town/village you were posted to. Prepare to be accepted or rejected at the institution. The institution you end up working with is your ‘Place of Primary Assignment (PPA). If accepted, you have no problem; you can proceed with other registration. If rejected, you will either be assigned to another institution or you can seek ‘request letter’ from an approved institution of your choice. Note, by law you are required to serve in any government agency or schools. No private institution is allowed (except private schools).
  • Step 6: If accepted at your PPA, complete all registration at your assigned Local Government (LG), including opening a bank account (you will be told which bank). Then apply for a 2 weeks leave. This should allow you look for accommodation and transport your belongings to this city/town/village that you will serve for 11 months. You might have to do some registration at your PPA, do this before going on the 2 weeks leave.
    • If you want a re-deployment to another state. The process is tiring, by law, re-deployment is only granted on health issues or to be with a spouse. But as usual, you can work your way around it. It will cost you money!
  • Step 7: at the end of your 2 weeks leave, you begin work. Once a week, you are excused from going to work for the ‘Community Development Service (CDs)’ at your local government. You are given a CDs card that must be signed by your Local Government Inspector (LGI) weekly.
  • Step 8: once a month, you must collect a ‘Clearance Letter’ from your PPA stating that they are satisfied with your work and that you do not owe them any money. You will take this letter to your Local Government office and sign a ‘Payment Voucher (PV)’ before the federal government will pay your monthly stipend to the bank account you opened. Failure to sign a PV will result in disciplinary actions against you.
  • Step 9: If all things go well, at the end of your 11 months service you must participate in the ‘Passing out Parade (POP) and your certificate will be given out. This certificate will be required before any employer offers you a job.

Note, every time you go to the NYSC head office or your assigned local government, you HAVE to dress in the appropriate uniform (that is, your khaki pants, white t-shirt and white tennis shoes/jungle boot). Nobody will attend to you if you fail to abide by this dress code.

Camp: Sample list of things you will need

(1) Baby wipes and toilet paper

(2) At least 5 round neck white t-shirts and 2-3 white shorts -it can be knee length, mine was

(3) 5 pairs of white socks and 2 pairs of white tennis shoes

(4) Medicines: anti diarrhea, vitamin c, cold & cough, acetaminophen/tylenol or ibuprofen

(5) Soap, sponge, detol, hand sanitizer, body lotion, toothbrush & paste, 2 towels

(6) Enough underwear for 3wks, sanitary pad, body spray

(7) Bed sheet, pillow and pillowcase

(8) Mosquito net and mosquito repellent

(9) Bathroom slipper/flip-flop

(10) Waist pouch (big enough to hold your cash, phone and key to your luggage)

(11) torchlight/flash light

(12) Books to read (if you are the reading type)

(13) At least 8 photocopies of each of your credentials and documents including your American passport and university ID card. Bring a folder to store all your document

(14) Your Nigerian passport and 20 passport photos

(15) Phone & charger (I took my blackberry and Nokia c7 and it wasn’t stolen – you just have to be careful)

(16) Bucket

(17) Padlock/combination locks to secure your luggage

(18) Snacks

(19) Your own cutlery and food container if you plan on eating at the camp kitchen. I didn’t bring mine and I was fine since I ate all my meals at the mami market (camp market)

(20) 2-4 change of clothes

(21) Cash – between 40,000 to 50,000 Naira minimum cash

(22) Open mindedness!