I’ve always wanted to do my NYSC, and an opportunity arose.
I started my application process while I was still in the US since the first portion of it was an online registration. This actually only applies to foreign students. I couldn’t complete the online process because I didn’t have my WAEC certificate which is one of the required documents for successful registration. I eventually realized that this didn’t even matter. I could have uploaded 6 random documents and it would still validate the registration.
Foreign trained graduates have to go through a “physical verification”, where the NYSC officials see you in person and validate your uploads against the original documents. Easy right? Wrong! They make you go all the way to Abuja for verification. That’s just messed up. Do they think because you that because you studied abroad, you suddenly have the money to be flying everywhere?
I thought that upon getting to Abuja, it will be straight forward. I remember my mum asking if I wanted someone to come with me and I’m like,…um…I’m not a child, I can go by myself. I did. Got to the NYSC Head office at about 9:30am. You have to sign in at every stop on your way to the actual office, the gate, front desk (this is where you pick up your id), and the front desk of the physical verification floor, from where you are assigned a number. I’m not really sure what the number was for, lol.
Apparently, foreign trained education was split into two. US & Canada, and everywhere else. When it was my turn, I went in with my registration print out, my photocopies as well as my originals. Honestly, this shouldn’t have taken more than 15mins. (BTW, it’s not because people are foreign trained that they have any manners or poise). This is Nigeria however, what I call “Unnecessary Stress”. Imagine, they told me that I uploaded my wrong passport information page that I need to upload the page of my expired passport. !!!. In which country does that even make sense??? Btw, he had already gone through my documents and signed on some of the photocopies. I was obviously already pissed at this time and I asked him where I could do this upload to which he told me there’s a business center across the street. What if I didn’t have my old passport on me? SMH
I returned to the office with the photocopy of the expired passport as well. He signed off. Then the man looks at my documents one last time and then asks me why my names are different on some of my certificates. At this point, I’m confused… The problem was I have two middle names, and my different certificates had either one or the other, but my passport had all my names…would I really be a different person??? Sigh…it was already almost noon at this point. Vexation no 2. I asked him what he wants me to do, to which he said I have to go to the High Court and get a sworn affidavit that I’m the same person, which meant crossing the street again. My people, why didn’t he say this the first time???? Or better still, why was this IMPORTANT information left out from the website. I guess the moral of this portion is give your child no more than 2 names. Lol.
Anyway, I went to the High Court, where some men were skipping the line. I didn’t keep quiet. I got up and said “but oga you saw us here. What kind of nonsense is this?” I talked ehn. In fact, shame caught all of them and I gladly took my turn. It took about 1 hour in all.
I returned to the NYSC office and handed him the photocopy (I also had to scan and upload it in the business center). He took my documents and said I would hear back from them.
Fast forward many weeks. No word back. Everyone I knew who had gone for registration got a mobilization confirmation via text and email. I got nada. I was obviously worried because by this time, it was already a week to Call up letters being released. I had a number I could call, which I did. The guy told me they couldn’t find my documents, asking if I was sure I came, yadiayada…and I’m like, I must be dreaming. O was I mad!!! I remember that Thursday afternoon, I was at work when I was told this bit of news. When I got off the phone. I prayed. I worshipped. I lifted my spirits with gospel music. I didn’t curse the guy or anyone. Two hours later, my confirmation came in.
*long sigh*. NYSC is not small beans o, it’s the kind that stinks. I was posted to Lagos. And I’m ready for this saga called “Unnecessary stress”.
By Wunmi Ajilore.
Read her actual camp story on Wednesday.