The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) 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.”
Nigeria’s history, especially the early days after independence, was filled with so much strife and animosity, that the government of that period sought to foster unity and oneness, starting with the youths through a program that removed cultural and geographical barriers.
After the three years civil war which was put to an end when Major General Gowon announced the no winner no vanquished policy, the then military administration sought to rebuild the country through a program known as the 3R’s- Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation.
This saw the birth of the National Youth Service Corps 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 the Nation’s youths while promoting national unity, all aimed at a stronger Nigeria in the nearest future.
Under the scheme, graduates of Nigerian universities are deployed to a state other than their state of origin 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 weeks 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.