The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is an organization set up by the Nigerian government in 1973 to involve the country’s graduates in the development of the country (wikipedia). Among the reasons why this is carried out is to enable Nigerian youths acquire the spirit of self reliance by encouraging them to develop skills for self employment, to contribute to the accelerated growth of the national economy (click here to read more).
The NYSC Scheme has four Cardinal programmes namely, Orientation Course, Primary Assignment, Community Development Service and Winding up/Passing Out Ceremony. The Orientation course which is expected to last for 3 weeks prepares corps members for the tasks and challenges of national service.
I wanted to start my own personal camp experience series (link) on NYSC but then I realized that there are lots of stories and epistles of that already on the internet. But not much on preparation was seen.
I am currently a corps member serving in Kwara State, Nigeria and when I was leaving for camp, nobody told me anything about these essentials and reasons why I would be needing them. I was given a long list of items (from my whatsapp group) and was told to make several ‘unnecessary’ photocopies and passports.
Are you a prospective corps member who’s preparing to leave for service and has little or no idea on what to get and how to go about it? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
To reduce the pain of searching and trying to explore everything on your own, I have collated a list and made authentic research of the essentials prospective corps member would need in camp.
Before that, I would like to congratulate every prospective corps member who just received a call to serve his/her fatherland. I hope with these, you would be able to prepare adequately before you embark on this journey.
1. CALL-UP LETTER:
This is what you’ll receive online in order to know the state you’re posted to. It is the number one registration document that would be presented at the gate as it is the only evidence that you are an ‘otondo’ (prospective corps member).
Print it out and you must not forget it! I forgot mine and I was almost sent back to where I was coming from. I had to beg but my registration was delayed that day. To avoid all the unnecessary stress, make sure you don’t forget it.
**Original and photocopies (10)
2. NYSC GREEN CARD:
This is printed before your call-up letter comes out. It contains your personal details and bio-data. It is very essential.
**Original and photocopies (10)
This is for doctors, pharmacists, nurses and lab scientists. This is your proof of certification…
**Original and photocopies (10)
4. STATEMENT OF RESULT:
This should be given to you by your institution (university or polytechnic).
**Original and photocopies (5)
5. MEDICAL CERTIFICATE OF FITNESS:
This document is very essential. You can get one either from a government or military hospital. This is to show your health status before you’ll be registered and admitted for the orientation course.
**Some of my colleagues weren’t allowed to complete registration because they didn’t have this.
** Original only
6. VALID STUDENT I.D CARD:
If you’ve misplaced yours, please request for another. This is also very essential.
**Original and photocopies (7)
7. FUNCTIONAL ACCOUNT NUMBER AND BANK VERIFICATION NUMBER (BVN):
For opening of accounts (for payment of allowance) during registration.
8. PASSPORT PHOTOGRAPHS:
10 (white background)
10 (red background)
Note: If you’re a foreign graduate, you should take along the original credentials you uploaded to the NYSC portal for verification.
All these documents are to be taken along with you when going to camp because in the process of registration, you’ll need to provide all of them. Take a file for carrying these documents to keep them neat and also, so you won’t misplace them.
SURVIVAL KIT (necessary but not compulsory)
NECESSARY BUT NOT COMPULSORY. Therefore, you can forget it at home (you had better not). This is another list of things you need to buy before leaving for camp. We call it ‘survival kit’ because without these, you won’t be comfortable and so they are very essential.
For food – The NYSC orientation camp provides 3 square meals for all corps members but some corps members prefer to eat mammy food (food sold in the only market in NYSC camp called ‘mammy’). For those who won’t be eating NYSC food, you need to hold enough cash. Get ready to spend!
Others – There are also other things that’d take up cash in camp apart from food like charging phones, water (sachet or bottled), recharge cards, laundry, e.t.c.
I saw this estimate (of the cash you should come with based on your category) on Khaki.com.ng
N15,000 – If you intend to only eat NYSC food.
N20,000 – If you intend to be combining NYSC food and mammy food.
N30,000 – If you intend to eat only mammy food.
N40,000 – to be much more comfortable!
Why should I take so much cash? You may ask. My dear, you won’t be allowed to leave camp! And like Kwara camp, not all camps have ATMs. So to withdraw, there are stands at mammy market where transactions are been carried out. You’ll be charged to withdraw using POS.
In Kwara camp, we were charged N100 per N1000 (that is, for every N1000 you withdraw, they’re charging you N100. So if you want to withdraw N5,000, your transaction fee is N500). Ridiculous right? Take enough cash from home if you don’t want others to ‘chop’ from the pocket money you hustled to get from your parents!
🔴 NYSC KIT (7/7)
The full NYSC kit consists of:
One NYSC crested vest (1), a pair of NYSC Khaki (jacket (2), belt (3) and trousers (4), a crested NYSC cap (5), a pair of white socks (6) and a pair of jungle boots (7).
🔴 EXTRA CLOTHES:
📌 White uniform:
White shorts: Get 2 — 4 (depending on the weight of your pocket) from home.
You would be given two (2) in camp.
White shirts: Get 2 — 4.
You would also be given two (2) in camp.
White socks: Get 2pairs.
You would also be given in camp.
White shoes: You can get 1 rubber (for rainy season) and 1 pair of sneakers
You would be given a pair in camp.
Note: You would be given all these in camp, it comes as a kit but they are not of high quality and they probably won’t be your exact size. Most corpers had to trade their big size for small size by swapping with their neighbor. Besides, you need extra because you don’t want to be washing everyday, do you? Even if you do, you won’t have the time!
📌 Sunday clothes: You can take about 2 or 3 for attending services on Sundays.
You can also find a spot for jeans in your traveling bag. You would need this on carnival (celebration) day!
Note: Please, no need to take more than these because throughout the period of 3 weeks (21 days), you’d be wearing only your white uniform (T-shirt, white shorts, socks and tennis shoes) in the morning, afternoon and night. You won’t be allowed to put on other plain clothes. So, don’t bother yourself.
🔴 Waist Pouch:
This should be considered as part of your uniform. It is like your personal, portable and wearable locker. Here, you keep important items like phones, money, charger, ID card, keys, ATM cards, etc.
🔴 Personal care:
📌 Bathing soap, toothbrush & toothpaste, perfume, baby wipes (for ladies), body spray, lotions, body creams, Vaseline (for harmattan), lip balms, hair cream, pad/tampons, comb, cosmetics (for ladies), etc.
📌 Drugs: pain relievers, panadol, paracetamol, antibiotics, flagyl, etc.
📌 Provision: For quick morning breakfast or late night ‘chows’. Cornflakes, milk, milo, sugar, garri, cup, plate and spoon.
📌 Powerbank and charger
For cold places like Jos, you would need duvet, headwarmer , gloves, etc.
Kwara camp was extremely cold December, 2017.
📌 Padlock – If you don’t want the teleportation of your properties to unknown places by unknown people. Please, lock your boxes so you won’t cry a river!
📌 Water Bottle – Trust me, you need this. Apart from making me black, the hot sun in Kwara camp always left me dehydrated. My water bottle served its purpose (well) during times like this. It is also useful during long hour lectures or even when you’re in the parade ground.
📌 Bucket (s)- For bathing and washing of course. I didn’t bring a bucket from one because I didn’t want to carry too much load, I bought at mammy market.
📌 Writing materials – For taking notes during lectures.
📌 Rechargeable lamp or torchlight.
📌 Towels (body and face towel for wiping sweat).
📌 Mosquito net: To avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes (and other insects) and getting malaria, please this is very essential.
I also used my Mosquito net as a room to protect my luggage from thieves.
📌 Disinfectants and detergents.
Note: As earlier stated, this is not compulsory but necessary. Which means, if you don’t get them you can still be allowed to register. However, if you need to be comfortable, get them! OR you can decide to leave them and get them at mammy market instead but it would be twice the price. So, choose your actions wisely!
WORD OF ADVICE:
** It is advisable to go early so you can get the best of everything like good hostels, good mattresses/bunks and ‘Ghen Ghen’ areas in the room.
Infact, if it’s possible, leave a day before camp resumes (if you live far).
** It is also advisable to write your code number inconspicuously on your kit (all of them) to avoid stories that touch.
** There’s going to be an inspection (at the gate) of all the things taken with you. This is done to avoid any possibility of bringing in harmful objects like knives, weapons, etc.
So, note that needles, bottled perfumes would be seized during this inspection if seen.
** In camp, there’s going to be a timetable of your daily routine which would be given to you in a manual. Keep it safe, it will be very helpful!
** If you go with friends and colleagues, your trip will be exciting and you can hang out with them in camp.
Kopa shun! Otondo! Are you good to go? Are you motivated? Congratulations once again! I hope with all these, it would be easier preparing to serve your fatherland. Have a successful camp experience and splendid service year!
If this information was indeed helpful and you know someone who’s going for service soon, don’t forget to share! Remember, sharing is caring.
Are you also a corps member? Is there anything you think I missed? What are the tips you would like to share? Please share with me in the comment box, I’d love to know. If you’re a prospective corps member and you have questions, please ask and I’d try to answer to the best of my knowledge.
For more information, these are NYSC official websites you can visit;
Bible verse: Even to your old age and gray hairs. I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you (Isaiah 46:4)