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History of NYSC in Nigeria: When NYSC Started & Purpose

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When did NYSC Start in Nigeria?

NYSC, known as National Youth Service Corps is a Nigerian organization which was established by the Nigerian government to engage fresh Nigerian graduates of tertiary institutions in national development. The NYSC scheme was set up “with a view to the proper encouragement and development of common ties among the youths of Nigeria and the promotion of national unity”.

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During the early years after Nigeria gained independence from Great Britain, the country was filled with so much strife and tribal segregation that the Nigerian government of that time sought to foster unity among every Nigerian, starting with the youths through a programme that removed cultural and geographical bias.

After the Nigerian-Biafran civil war, the Federal Military Government, under the leadership of General Yakubu Gowon, set out to rebuild the Nigeria through a programme which was known as the 3R’s- Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation.

How NYSC Started in Nigeria

The programme to rebuild Nigeria, known that time as Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation, which constituted the 3R’s helped set up the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) on May 22, 1973. The scheme was established under Decree no. 24 as a way of meeting those 3R’s goals and to encourage and develop healthy common ties among Nigerian youths while promoting national unity, all aimed at a stronger Nigeria in the nearest future.

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The NYSC scheme was established such that graduates of Nigerian tertiary institutions are deployed to a state in Nigeria other than their state of origin or sometimes, their state of residence for a compulsory one year of service to their fatherland. The one year service is usually called National service year. At the start of the national service year, the fresh graduates are sent to a three-week orientation camp with military dispositions, after which they are then posted to their places of primary assignment for the remaining ten months of the national service year.

Successful completion of the National Service year is recognised with a certificate of national service, known also as NYSC discharge certificate and with this, graduates are eligible for employment in Nigeria.

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