After NYSC, what next?

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is a scheme that has been ongoing for 46 years. The Nigerian government has made this exercise compulsory for the Nigerian graduates under the age of 30, and can only be exempted for serious medical reasons. However, the question now is, after NYSC, what happens next? When a lot of corps members were asked this question sometime ago, some suggested job/career, business/entrepreneurship, master’s degree programme, while some even suggested marriage.

A high percentage of the Nigerian youths feel the compulsory one-year service to the nation is a big waste of time, and some corps members feel it’s a period to make friends, and have fun. Well, it can only be a waste of time if you don’t maximize the time and opportunities you have as a corps member.

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The Nigerian government has made provision for the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development training (SAED) that will enable corps members to acquire more knowledge in any skills of their interest. As a corps member, you have the opportunity to either register for some professional courses, or acquire skills like hairdressing, catering, tailoring, event planning and the like.

However, the mistake we make is not taking advantage of these opportunities. The world is evolving, no company or business organization is interested in just that first degree you attained, they are more interested in those skills you have acquired and how well you can apply it, that will profit the company or the business.

As people would say, the key to success is education, however, the key to success has more to do with acquired skills.

After the NYSC programme, the important thing is being relevant, and not just to yourself, but most importantly to the society. The decision you make during your service year will either make or mar your future.

The only way to be relevant is to acquire knowledge or a skill.

Olayinka Lasisi,