First I want to wish all those who made it to the 2015 Batch A Orientation camp a happy stay there and a happy service year ahead.
As with the normal tradition, jostling for favourable posting to place of primary assignment will have commenced. Many would have been told to make sure they join the band group, cultural group, parade team, etc, just so they can be posted to urban areas or state capitals. Many will end up bribing NYSC camp officials while some may even go to the lenght of sleeping with soldiers just so they can achieve that goal. If I hear you complain about corruption in Nigeria ehn!
I have been there and I know these things. However, my main intent here is to give you reasons why you should be happy serving in a rural community instead of an urban area (state capital). Hopefully at the end of reading this piece, you will have had enough credible information to enable you reach a decision that will enable you enjoy your service year to the fullest. Here we go.
1. Housing and Feeding
Rural communities are places where you have the cheapest cost of housing and feeding compared to state capitals. A comfortable room with electricity bill for a month can cost as low as N1,000 compared to N2,500 in a state capital. Need I remind you that you are more likely to get freebies such as fresh vegetables, yams, garri, plantain, garri and pepper in a rural community than in an urban centre? If you want your meagre N19,800 monthly allowance to be able to sustain you with you even being able to save some part of it then you should be happy serving in a rural community.
Your PPA is mostly likely going to be within a trekable distance from your house when you are serving in a rural community plus you can always get unsolicited free rides from members of your community. Go state capital go tell Hausa, Ibo or Yoruba man wey come from faraway come hussle for survival make him carry you free. Him go rebuke you like devil.
3. Save! Save! Save!
Just in case you failed to grab the essence of point 1 & 2 above, am making it obvious. This is especially for those who understand the harsh economic realities currently facing Nigeria. The truth is there is no guaranteed job waiting for your at the end of your service year. You therefore need some change that can sustain you during the job hunt. If you are looking for a means to quickly squander your meagre allawe, then keep praying and lobbying to be posted to the state capital. Reality will set in when you stop recieving monthly credit alert from federal government.
4. Personal CDS Project
If you want to win that state prize and even shake hand with President Buhari my role model at the end of your service year then consider it a good thing to serve in a rural community. The reason here is that rural communities have many unfulfilled needs compared to urban centres and you can tap into these opportunities to carry out a personal CDS project that can win you fame and glory.
5. Less Stringent Rules & Regulations To Follow
Am not in any way trying to encourage indiscipline but there are certain moments in during your service year when you will seriously wish for the rules to be relaxed a little bit. Your wish will most probably be answered in a rural area than otherwise. If you want to ask me which rules and regulations, go grab your NYSC Bye Laws handbook and read through. I know for a fact that extension-of-service-year is more common in urban centres so be happy you are not going there.
6. Cultural Integration & Learning
If you really wish to understand the culture of the people in the the state where you are serving then a rural community is the best place to carry out your service. Those who serve in rural areas have over the years proven to be more knowledgeable about their state of deployment than those who serve in urban centres. You too can join this prestigious league.
As a Corp member serving in a rural area, be sure that you are going to be respected not only by members of your community, but also by your employee at your PPA. Majority of incidences of maltreatment of Corp members have often come from urban areas. If you read story of Corp members who were thrown out of their PPA and lodge by their employee (a proprietor in an urban school) then you will treasure this additional benefit of serving in a rural community.
8. Valued Service
This is also an offshoot of point 6 above. Be sure that your service in a rural community will be deeply valued and appreciated because you will be rendering a scarce service to your host community. Please don’t fail to take advantage of this.
I hope these few points will convince you on why you should be happy to serve in a rural community. Questions, comments, additions and subtractions are welcome.
God bless the federal republic of Nigeria.