|Formation||22 May 1973|
|Purpose||To foster national unity & cohesion|
|All Nigerian graduates below the age of thirty|
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is a program set up by the Nigerian government to involve Nigerian graduates in nation building and the development of the country. There is no military conscription in Nigeria, but since 1973 graduates of universities and later polytechnics have been required to take part in the National Youth Service Corps program for one year. This is known as national service year. Ahmadu Ali served as the first Director-General of the NYSC until 1975. The incumbent Director-General is Shuaibu Ibrahim.
Major General Suleiman Kazaure was appointed director general of the NYSC on 18 April 2016, and served as the 17th DG of the scheme until his redeployment to the Nigerian Army Resource Centre on 26 April 2019. Until his appointment, Ibrahim, the new NYSC boss was the Registrar, Nigerian Army University, Biu in Borno State.
NYSC was created on 22 May 1973 as an avenue for the reconciliation, reconstruction, and rebuilding of the nation after the civil war. It was established based on decree No. 24 that stated that the scheme was created "with a view to the proper encouragement and development of common ties among the youths of Nigeria and the promotion of national unity".
Corps members (participants in the National Youth Service Scheme) are posted to states other than their state of origin where they are expected to mix with people from different ethnic groups, social and family backgrounds, and learn the culture of the indigenes in the location they are posted to. This action is aimed at bringing about unity in the country and help the youths appreciate other ethnic groups. There is an "orientation" period of approximately three weeks spent in a military controlled "camp" away from family and friends. The camps are situated across the 36 states of the federation.  There is also a "passing out ceremony" at the end of the three weeks orientation camp after which corp members are posted to their Place of Primary Assignment (PPA). They are expected to work as full-time staff at their PPA with exception of one working day devoted for the execution of community development service. After eleven months at their PPA, corp member are allowed one month of vacation before their final passing out ceremony where they would be issued certificates of completion.
To be eligible to participate in the compulsory one year service, a graduate must be below the age of 30 years upon graduation, or else he/she will be given a Certificate of Exemption, which is also equivalent to the NYSC Discharge Certificate. A graduate who graduated before 30 years but skipped the service year, will still be eligible to serve even if he wants at the age of 60, since his certificate of graduation was dated before he clocked 30 years of age. NYSC is compulsory in the sense that the graduates of the country can't request for exemption by themselves, unless they are disabled, have served in the military or paramilitary for a period of more than one year or have exceeded the age of 30 years when they graduated just like in the above explanation. Part-time graduates (CEP) are given Exemption Letter, since they're not allowed to serve.
Prospective corps members should have a valid and functional email address and Nigerian (GSM) telephone number to register. A correct jamb and matriculation number is also required for locally trained graduates. Foreign trained prospective corps members should ensure that their institutions are accredited. Also, if they trained in non-English speaking countries they are expected to translate their certificates to English before uploading. It is also important to note that registrations by proxy are not allowed.
Nigerian graduates are ineligible for employment in governmental establishments (and most private establishments) until they have completed the mandatory one year service or obtained the relevant exemptions. Graduates who are exempted from the service include those above the age of thirty and those with physical disability. During the service year, Corps members have the opportunity to learn the cultures of other people.
The objectives of the National Youth Service Corps Program are clearly enumerated in Decree No.51 of 16 June 1993 as follows:
The program has been met with criticism from a large portion of the country and complaints from Corps members about their remuneration. A few youth carrying out the NYSC program have been killed in the regions where they were sent due to religious, ethnic or political violence. Besides the issue of security, many[who?] have questioned the continued importance of the program and have called for a dialogue in this regard. Preemptive measures must be taken in order to avoid future incidents of violence. The integrity and nobility of the program must be upheld by addressing the aforementioned issues.