Last year when I was in service, I wrote a column titled: ‘NYSC Allowance And The Minimum Wage Stunt.’ A click on search engine with this title would direct anyone who mind to read. I wrote this piece to address many reasons why NYSC allowance should be increased without delay.
On this column, I received calls from different State Coordinators and Local Government Inspectors. One of my friends serving in Ogun State, Omigbule Oyebola also called me that he shared on their NYSC platform and their Inspector asked him to bring the hard copy. Initially, I thought I was already in trouble because of the threat cum warning given to us not to write anything against or concerning the scheme. My mind was not at ease thinking about the panel I would face. I later embraced courage that what will be, will actually be in as much as am fighting for Nigerian graduates. I know if the new allowance is being implemented, it would not favour my batch but the next coming batches.
Despite the fact that this write up was heavily plagiarized by people erasing my name and details, many across the country still sent me inbox messages. I made new friends and got more fans. Guess what, the State Coordinators that called me differently commended the work and promised to take it up.
My mind was calm and pleased. This is wonderful, I exclaimed!
In the piece, I tried to evaluate and justify how N19, 800 can never be sufficient for Corpers.. Below is the excerpt of the breakdown of 19,800 as penned in the column.
“Let’s even split the #19,800 into pieces now.
By calculation, a Corper earns #660 per day
#660 daily * 30days = #19,800 monthly
Let’s assume one spends
#150 naira in the morning for breakfast
#150 naira in the afternoon for lunch
#150 naira for dinner
#150 * 3 daily = #450
#450 on three square meal daily multiply by 30days = #13,500
#19,800 Allawee – #13,500 total food consumption per month = #6,300 balance
Out of this #6,300 that remains, one would pay for electricity bill monthly, one would pay for transport fare to CDS weekly or PPA probably three or four times in a week, one would have no choice than to recharge phone and buy data for subscription, friends and relatives would definitely be expecting one to give out something including girl friend or fiancee. All these expenses excluded clothes, and other petty things.
Convince me on why people should not engage in yahoo yahoo out of this mess. I pay kudos to the EFCC for waging war against cyber crime but why are they careless to take note of some of the reasons behind the hiker level of cyber crime.
People resort to last choice when there is none. The insufficient #19,800 is among the reasons why guys find alternative to their standard of living. Monthly allowance isn’t sustainable and employment isn’t certain. Who on earth can endure poverty?”
On the concluding part, I said:
“Many business ideas died after NYSC because there are no more savings on ground having exhausted the #19,800 during the service year. If graduates earn at least, #30,000 per month, it is only a prodigal that would not have savings to set up a small scale business of whatsoever and give life to at least, one business idea”.
“It is high time the NYSC scheme go back to the drawing board and sit the government down on the increment without any delay. NYSC Scheme is the best channel to reduce unemployment.”
“The increment of allawee would not only reduce unemployment rate but at the same time encourage people to further with their education. If N-Power beneficiaries can earn #30,000 per month for two years, NYSC members can also earn #30,000 for that one year of service with dedication and selflessness. Allawee increment should be a must and priority”
The above was my conclusion in the column; thank God, it has been increased. For the fact that Buhari led administration is facing serious challenges in the area of security. He would definitely be remembered for the NYSC allowance. He deserves appreciation for effecting change in that aspect. It’s only the prodigal ones that would earn 30,000 throughout the service year and still come back to tell the tales of unemployment in Nigeria. The wise ones would be business owners and self reliance.
Even when am not a beneficiary of the increased allowance, one of the ex corpers from Kogi State called me recently to write NYSC DG and solicit for arrears. I laughed it off and said, I will rather write to solicit for employment. This is Nigeria. Everything happens in style. Kudos to Baba Buhari, NYSC DG and others that channelled the increment.