Every NYSC member goes through two phases that can either mar or make the entire experience: the initial posting to a state in Nigeria, and the posting to a primary Place of Assignment (PPA) tailored to your area of expertise, or not.
We decided to ask some ex-corp members about their experience with both postings, and they had some funny to scary stories to share.
I suspected something was wrong the day I got my PPA posting letter and couldn’t find useful information about the company on Google. I’d heard how PPAs were scarce in Lagos and people had to show up before another corper takes up the spot. I left the orientation camp in Ipaja for Ikeja and got there around 2 p.m. Everyone I asked gave different directions but nobody knew the exact building. One maiguard saw me and offered to take me to the place. When we finally located the building, it looked deserted. We knocked, and this heavily built man came out. He said they weren’t taking corpers, and I was super relieved. Some months later, the address dropped as one of the kidnap hotspots job seekers should avoid in Lagos.
Amuru Abam in Abia state was one scary experience. The roads were so terrible, you could barely escape falling off a bike. But that’s not what freaked me out. The locals were fetish on a different level.
There was a big tree in the community where many people would sit for shade. But when it got cloudy, people would run from it as if their lives depended on it. They said raindrops from the tree must not touch the human body. Apparently, the tree is a deity they worship annually. It gives whatever one requests but with consequences. I was skeptical, but I avoided the tree till I completed my service year.
My first PPA posting was to a funeral home, and I still suffer PTSD from the place till this day. I decided not to work there when I saw the company name on my PPA letter, but I still had to show up and beg them to reject me. I went there about two days after with my friend, and the owners rejected me without a fight.
I was dead set on serving in Lagos, which was why I was willing to starve and save up the ₦100k to pay my NYSC plug. The call-up letter came out and I saw Edo. How? I mean, I knew Lagos was hard and it was a gamble even after paying, but why not Ogun or Ibadan? I couldn’t believe my eyes, and I don’t remember crying that much in all of my adult years. I spent three weeks in the orientation camp and didn’t enjoy the experience because I was depressed the entire time. I finally got redeployed to Ibadan, and I made peace with that. Lagos to Edo? God, abeg o.
I’ve spent most of my life in Abuja, but I knew I wanted to explore other parts of Nigeria when it was time for NYSC. So I just trusted I’d get one of the states I filled without working it. I was posted to Osun state and had a great camping experience. However, when it was time for PPA posting, I got a school outside the capital. Everyone already mentioned how the best places to work were in Osogbo. I finally resumed and the sight of the school threw me off with the bushes everywhere and classes looking abandoned. It was giving strong kidnap zone. It didn’t help matters when the principal showed up and spoke Yoruba. The students looked like they’d beat me up if they felt like it. I came back the next day and begged the principal to reject me, but he refused. He said they could use the extra hand and they hadn’t gotten corpers in a while. It took several days of calls from my parents before this man agreed to reject me. It felt like I was released from prison.
My PPA was a small company in Ekiti, and I think I was jazzed because that’s the only explanation for the two months I spent there. I basically the errand boy. There were two other workers, but we hardly spoke. Everyone showed up in the morning and stayed in their corner. I did everything from making photocopies to buying food and cleaning the office, all on a ₦10k monthly allowance. The CEO didn’t allow any staff into her office apart from these red-garment church people who showed up whenever and stayed in her office for hours. I don’t know how my mum noticed something was off with me, but one day she called and said she wanted to speak with my boss. Two days after the call, I was laid off and started processing redeployment.