So, you have recently been posted to Rivers state for your mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program and you are wondering what to do when you get in and how you will survive in the garden city, or you have just left the Orientation camp and you have heard the stories of how expensive Pitakwa is and you are wondering how you will survive on your pittance of an allowance.
The National Youth Service Corps program is a compulsory initiative for Nigerian graduates that was established by the Decree 24 of the 1973 “with a view to the proper encouragement and development of common ties among the youths of Nigeria and the promotion of national unity.” Corps members – colloquially known as Corpers – are posted to different states of the federation for the duration of a year, wherein they will participate in various community development projects in their areas of assignment.
This article lists some simple tips on how to survive as a Corper in Port Harcourt.
Live with other Corps members
There will always be the temptation to live alone when you are serving. While this may have its benefits for you especially if you are the introverted and shy type, it may eventually turn out to be to your detriment. Living with other corps members assures you of security and protection in numbers. Also, you can split things like fare costs, food costs and easily get notified of upcoming events easier than when you live alone, especially if your PPA (Place of Primary Assignment) is an out-of-the-way rural area.
Register at the nearest police station to your PPA
One of the first things to do when you are posted to your Place of Primary Assignment (PPA) is to go directly to the nearest police station and register yourself. You can do this by simply walking into the station and asking to see the DPO or the Station Officer. You can then give the officer your phone number and other contact details including the location of your PPA and collect the numbers of the station house and the officer. This would come in handy in case of dangerous situations.
Shop on market days
A lot of the locations in Port Harcourt have specified market days. For example the Oil Mill Market which is one of the biggest markets in Pitakwa holds every Wednesday. Find out the market days for the markets closest to your PPA. Shopping on those days guarantees you cheaper and fresher goods and articles.
Be friendly and respectful
As a Corper one of the things upmost in your mind would be how to find a good and well-paying job as soon as you are done with the service year. The truth of the deal is, applying for jobs using the online and physical channels may not always work for you, but the people around you in your PPA may actually hold the key to solving that problem. You may never know who would eventually prove to be a help to you so be friendly and respectful to your fellow corps members and everyone around you. Perform your assigned tasks with diligence and before you know it, you will have people singing your praises.
Take professional exams while you are serving
One of the benefits of your service year is that a lot of things are subsidized for you. In Port Harcourt, you can find a lot of training institutes which offer subsidized courses for corps members. Take advantage of these and learn a professional skill or improve yours. This will come in handy as soon as you move into the labour market.
So, there they are; 5 tips on how to survive as a Corper in Pitakwa. Do you have any others you will love to share? How did you survive when you served in Port Harcourt. Share in the comments below.
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