Being once a corper, I had the privilege of interacting with my contemporaries. I also conducted several researches on the NYSC programme. I discovered that most corpers attribute their failure to these factors: location and allocation.
Almost every intending corps member is highly interested in the state or area he or she will be deployed or posted to. Some intending or even serving corpers try to influence their posting; to ensure that they are sent to their choice area. They want to do everything legal and illegal to influence their posting.
Nothing is wrong with trying to influence your posting to suit maybe; your health condition, job, family, and other considerations. However, the point is that some corpers will use any means to ensure that they achieve this aim even when they don’t merit it. They behave as if their success as a corper depends solely in their state of deployment. You hear them say, “if I am not posted to this state, I am finished.” Their belief is that if they are not posted to their choice area, then their service year is a waste.
A corper must be posted to any of these three areas:
(a) Rural, (b) urban or (c semi-rural areas.
These areas can be found in almost all the states within the federation. Each of these areas has their own characteristics, opportunities and challenges.
Rural area is regarded as the countryside of a state. It comprises of villages. It is characterized by mainly traditional small or old buildings. Rural areas have few social amenities, and the lifestyle is simple and quiet. Rural dwellers are normally involved in primary activities such as farming, fishing and lumbering.
In rural areas, accommodation facilities are inexpensive and readily available. My rent was N500 per month. Furthermore, the cost of living is relatively low because commodities are cheap and affordable. Most times food stuffs are given to us free of charge because the villagers are the primary producers. The fruits around the area are always fresh and cheap, due to the availability of different fruit trees indigenous to the area.
The rural environment is less populated and polluted and as a result very suitable for rational thinking, reading, writing and some other profitable intellectual ventures. The rural dwellers are friendly people. If you obey and respect their customs and tradition, you will enjoy your service year. Each time the rural dwellers see us dressed up, children, adults and even the old would be screaming “kappa, kappa.” It is the most suitable place for national integration, because you will learn the local culture, tradition and language of the people. Some rural areas also have good infrastructures, such as electricity, accessible roads, pipe born water, GSM service, etc.
On the other hands, the cardinal challenge you might face in most rural areas, is inadequate infrastructures. The rural area might not have all the facilities you desire.
Communication barrier for the first one month might be another challenge. Honestly, I don’t see my inability to speak and understand a particular language as a challenge. I perceive it as an opportunity to learn the local language quickly.
In conclusion, the rural area is a place to explore and discover new ideas. You will be exposed to things you never knew. If you are focused and adventurous, you will find the rural area very interesting.
An urban area is connected with a town. It is principally characterized by modern buildings. Its dwellers are chiefly involved in secondary and tertiary activities such as manufacturing, construction and many other service oriented jobs. Majority of urban areas have good social amenities. Urbanites speak the official language, and they are more informed.
Certainly, the urban area has its own pitfalls. Firstly, accommodation facilities are exorbitant. Corpers lodges in most urban areas are usually over crowded because some employers cannot afford the accommodation cost. Cost of living is extremely high because food items are very expensive.
Urban dwellers exhibit impersonal or individualistic behavior. Most individual there are unfriendly, everybody minds his or her own business because of the high cost of living. For example, it will be very difficult for an urbanite to give a corps member ten tubers of yam free of charge. However, farmers in the rural area can do that because they exhibit brotherly or communal living
This area has the qualities of both the rural and urban areas. Modern and traditional buildings are evident. Semi-urbanites engage in primary, secondary and tertiary production.
The physical structure here is the combination of modern and traditional buildings. The rent for accommodation is moderate, specifically, higher than the rural area and lesser than the urban area. Food stuffs are fairly cheap. Semi-urban areas enjoy social amenities, but some might be absent. The semi-urban area is in-between the rural and urban area. It is a hybrid of both.
Location: Never a Barrier
Listen, my dear friend. You can be successful anywhere. You can enjoy your service year in any part of the country. Your professional, academic and financial goals can be achieved regardless of where you are posted. Influencing your posting limits the integration and unity objective of the NYSC scheme.
Your location doesn’t determine your success. What matters is your ability to identity and utilize opportunities around your environment. The rural, urban and semi-urban areas possess their own chunks of opportunities. There is no state or local government area in Nigeria that doesn’t have opportunities to explore. It is your ability to see and identify opportunities that will distinguish you anywhere you are posted. I told my parents that I wanted the NYSC to post me to the northern part of the country, but I was posted the south. I still made positive impacts where I served. I would have been successful anywhere I was posted.
These opportunities can only be seen by smart corpers. While other corps members celebrate and exaggerate their challenges the elegant ones see opportunities behind these challenges. Hardship or difficulty breeds opportunities and when anyone solves that problem, it breeds wealth and fame.
You will find successful people both in the rural and urban areas. Nevertheless, we have unsuccessful people in these two areas. There are people in your village that are wealthier than those living in cities. The difference between these two groups is the ability or inability to see and utilize opportunities. Your success is not a function of your location success is triggered by focus, information, diligence, patience, etc.
The society is yearning for something new. Something different will fetch money. Friends, if you can make a fast, potable and cheap product, then you are on your way to wealth and fame. New products are usually invented through rational thinking and transfer of idea /technology. There are some ideas or products in the southern part of Nigeria that are not in the north. As a southerner posted to the north, you can introduce this product or idea. It might not be new in the south but very new to the northerners.
An example is a simple soft drink called “zobo”. A female corper discovered that this nutritious drink was unknown among the people of the community she was serving. She traveled and brought the ingredients for the production of zobo drink. The drink was generally accepted by the villagers, and the business flourished. She supplied this drink to different shops and she never touched her federal or state allowance because the profit she made from the business sustained her, and she was even sending money to her family members.
Don’t waste your time and resources lobbying for posting or re-posting. Location is not a barrier. Opportunities abound everywhere. Spend your time and money on skill acquisition because your skills will be relevant anywhere you are posted. There is a place for you; in that place God has packaged opportunities that will make you a celebrity. Let the NYSC naturally post you to where you belong, and you will enjoy your service year.
Allocation in this context signifies financial resources. Allocation entails the different means or avenue available by which a corper can raise funds. Most intending corpers bypass the NYSC scheme because they feel that the allowance is not enough. They believe that the financial benefits of the NYSC scheme cannot sustain them.
Even some corpers believe that to achieve their set goals and objective within the service year they need money. Certainly, to register for a professional training and examination requires money. Furthermore, to conduct a research requires purchase of materials and other logistics expenses you need money. Even to start a business as a corper, you need capital.
Incidentally the monthly federal or state allowance seems insufficient to pursue a set objective. Most corps members use the meager allocation as an excuse for their failure. Some ex-corpers identified profitable opportunities when they were serving, but their excuse is always; “the allowance was not enough to finance the business”. Most of them had opportunities to obtain various professional training, but they claim that the allowance could not even meet their basic needs let alone enrolling for a professional certification.
It is important to state that many corpers utilized the little resources available effectively, and today they are celebrating various achievements.
The question is: Is money the most important determinant of success? Most corpers have attributed their failure to inadequate finance. Are their claims right?
Allocation; Never a Barrier
You don’t need money to succeed, all you need is you. You are all you need to succeed in business and in other facets of life. Nothing can stop you from succeeding except you. All the resources you need to pursue and actualize your goals and aspirations is in you. I love that Peak milk’s slogan that says: “it’s in you.” All you need to do now is to develop the skills, talents, ideas and abilities you have. A business cannot worth more than the owners. You are priceless. The resource your goals and aspiration need is you. Immediately it finds you; you will attract other resources.
Stop wasting your time complaining; start planning for your business or career immediately. Don’t wait for the capital before you start planning. Stop running up and down for money, personal development should be your priority.
I got an idea to write a student motivational book titled “be the best student” when I was serving in Akwa Ibom. My only source of income was the allowance. I started writing the book without considering my financial status. After writing, the cost of publishing was forty four thousand naira, and I had only twenty thousand. I deposited the money and promised to pay the balance immediately the work is completed. I received a call from the publisher urging me to come over for the payment and collection my work. And I had not even a kobo. I wanted to achieve my goal, thus I was desperate to have my product. I asked the publisher to give me few copies of the book, which he did. I went to some motor parks and schools to sell the books. After sales each day, I will deposit a sum to the publisher. That was how I paid the balance and collected all my books. If I had waited until I had the total cost of production, the book could have been a mirage.
After I sold all the books, I had enough money to pay the total cost of production while reprinting. Friends you need to start from somewhere. Stop wishing and start working.
What you have in your hands is enough. Most large firms started small. Every big business can be done in a smaller capacity. Teleboast International is a multi-national firm that specializes on web designing and hosting. Furthermore, a single web designer with a laptop can perform the same function Teleboast performs. Mr. Biggs deals on snacks.
Also, Mr. Obi snack’s shop can offer the same product. Corper; start small; money is not the problem. The only thing that can stop you is you.
Most professional bodies partner with the NYSC. They offer services to corps members at a reduced price. They even accept payments in installment. So don’t let the total cost deter you. Just pick the registration form, fill and summit and start attending lectures. Read their materials and sit for the examination. Before the results would be released, your induction fee will be in your hands. I wrote three professional examinations when most corpers were complaining that they have no money to register for one. The good thing about the certificate is that you can still claim it after their induction or NYSC pass out. In fact, two out of my three certificates was sent to me via postal service.
Don’t allow finance to be an excuse for your failure. You can be a professional corper, academic corper or millionaire corper with little or no financial support. Just start with what you have, you will definitely achieve your goal. Just take a bold step because until you move, nothing moves. If the business or career starts in your mind, it has already started physically.