Importance of NYSC certificate in Nigeria

Importance of NYSC certificate in Nigeria

Most Nigerians dream about acquiring the NYSC certificate. The NYSC stands for National Youth Service Corps – a Nigerian organization started by the government in attempts to involve younger people into national service. Is the certificate as important as it sounds? Find out about the main advantages and disadvantages of NYSC certificate for Nigerian youths and their participation in the country service.

NYSC youth in Nigeria

What is the NYSC program and how does it work?

Let us take a quick and brief course in history. In 1973, the National Youth Service Corps was launched for the first time. Ahmadu Ali was the first Director-General. Since then, a compulsory requirement for graduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities is to participate in the program every year. The aim is for them to serve their country and learn the value of Nigeria’s rich culture.

The NYSC journey begins with the graduates spending three weeks away from their family and loved ones, at a designated military-controlled boot camp, which is widely known as the “orientation” camp. All the National Youth Service Corps participants are sent here in order to learn to be independent, meet a lot of new people from different social backgrounds and cultures, and learn new things about the various historical and cultural aspects of the state.

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At the end of every year, the participants are required to take part in the “passing out ceremony”, which is set up as a parade – this is the time for all the NYSC participants to officially receive their certificate and return to their respective homes.

NYSC camp

The main benefits of the program

Basically, the program was established and developed in order to help Nigerian youths find their place in life. The historical importance of NYSC certificate is understood and valued by most of Nigerian students and graduates because when they finally receive it, it means that all the doors are now open for them. They become eligible for the list of jobs which can be available only for people who have completed the compulsory national service of one year, and these jobs are mostly in governmental establishments, as well as a few private ones. The exceptions are only given to the people who are older than thirty and physically disabled individuals.

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Many students look forward to their mandatory service because of the unique experience it offers and to learn patriotism and loyalty to their country and each other. Most youths in Nigeria never get the opportunity to find out about different cultures, and they value this chance given to them by NYSC.

So why are people arguing about the importance of NYSC?

NYSC youth in Nigeria doing national service

Despite all its benefits, people have mixed opinions about the importance of NYSC. While some see that it's advantageous, others doubt its usefulness mainly due to its reputation in recent years.

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Here are a few advantages and disadvantages of completing NYSC program and receiving a certificate. The choice is up to you, so regard all the points and choose wisely.

NYSC certificate


  • Driving: You can drive without a license as long as you are an NYSC corper and can prove it with a special identification.
  • You are validated: If you are a corper, you are known and respected by people – for example, police will not randomly stop you and interrogate you or search your car. Just tell them you are a corper and prove it with your ID card.
  • Federal immunity: This privilege means that people who have completed the NYSC course can enter special places where ordinary people without a certificate cannot (in some cases it can even be dangerous for them as they can be kicked out by the police or owners). With the NYSC documentation, you can safely enter these areas.
  • Respect: Yes, this aspect was already mentioned – those who have National Service certificate are generally more respected in Nigeria than those who don't.
  • Jobs: It is quite difficult to get a respectable job if you don't have the NYSC certificate. In most cases, people who have it successfully get well-paid jobs.
  • Mental side: Nigerians who have undergone the “school of life” offered to them by the National Youth Service Corps development program usually come out of the corps mentally tougher and physically stronger. It is a real help when it comes to searching for jobs and later in life whenever situation seems hopeless and desperate. The society needs more mentally strong youngsters to develop the nation’s spirit in general, so this factor is actually more important than you may think.
  • Socialization: The program unites people from all over Nigeria, no matter what their social, religious or ethnic background is. The scheme of NYSC helps people to unite and make new freinds. Besides, the various connections definitely would useful to you later in life – you never know who may help you when you are in need.

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NYSC in Nigeria


  • Scheme: Sometimes young people complain that the current scheme of NYSC should be better developed because in the state it is now the country just seems to waste their resources and time. Some of the youngsters are put into situations totally foreign to them which actually would not have any use in the future. As a result, the certificate has become more important to the young people than the spirit of national service.
  • The lack of insurance: This matter is a big problem for those who are planning on participating in the NYSC – there is no good scheme of insurance for them, and many graduates want the government should develop it as soon as possible.
  • No guarantees regarding jobs: Surely those who have done NYSC are more likely to find a prestigious or just decent job, however, there is no definite guarantee for this. People mostly only find good jobs when they thoroughly search on their own.
  • NYSC certificate importance: It was already mentioned that the actual paper is given more attention than the skills of the employee when the graduates start working, and people with the certificate are just treated better in general.

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NYSC youth performing their duties

Partaking in the NYSC program in Nigeria and getting the certificate surely brings more good sides than bad, and the majority of Nigerian youths possess the knowledge of how important and significant the course is for them. Even though the program needs improvement and development, it is a great part of the country’s culture and history. There are those who still agree that their NYSC course was an adventure of a lifetime.

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Regina Stets avatar

Regina Stets (SEO writer) Regina has been working as a reporter since 2017. She has written numerous publications on various topics, including celebrities, lifestyle, news, and many more. In addition to writing, she is also an English teacher, translator and a volunteer. Her interests are art, psychology and travelling, and she believes in equal rights for everyone.

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