National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is a compulsory requirement for getting a job in Nigeria. It entails a whole year of service to the country in exchange for a certificate and a monthly salary that is a little above the minimum wage (#18,000) in Nigeria.
The salary comes along with some benefits like free health care.
Before March 2011 youth corper salary was #9,775 compared to the present salary of #19,800. Some might see this as a great improvement but in the real sense of it, it is not. The #19,800 has zero purchasing power. The challenges faced by corpers every month cannot be solved by that amount. Corpers struggle to get places of primary assignments (PPAs) which are supposed to provide transportation allowances and accommodation as clearly stated in the posting letters but do not.
Some states like Lagos and Abuja pay corpers state allowance up to the tune of #20,000 which brings the whole some to #39,800 which sounds reasonable. However, not every corper can be posted to those states.
As an aspiring corper, you might be a little worried about how you are going to survive on the very low income but not to worry here are some useful tips on how to survive on a youth corpers salary.
Create a budget
Budgeting your finances helps a lot. Creating a budget helps you know what money you have, how and when money goes in and goes out. It also gives you a clear idea of how much money you have a chance to save.
Draw up a list of staple things that you need: food, water, transportation, CDS dues, savings and miscellaneous.
The key to successfully following a budget is DISCIPLINE! Always stick to your budget.
Another way to survive on your NYSC salary is to save. It might seem impossible to save anything from #19,800 but it is not. The key is to cut down on irrelevant expenses. NYSC is a time to have fun no doubt but try to find inexpensive ways to catch your fun.
As much as possible try to avoid paying rent, almost all states in Nigeria have lodges that have been provided either by the government or private organizations mostly churches. This helps you save all the money that would have been spent on bills if you were renting.
Get a side hustle
NYSC has a platform that teaches corpers vocational skills, the platform is called SAED. Take advantage of this platform and use it to make extra money for yourself. The skills range from bead making, baking, wireworks, arts and craft and many others. Seize the opportunity, you can even use it after the service year as a means of making money till you get a stable job.
Make use of your benefits
Despite the fact that the salary is nothing to write home about. NYSC provides corpers with free Health care at least it is active in some states. If per adventure you get sick, instead of using out of your monthly allowance. Find out if the free health care option is available in your state and utilize it.
Find out the benefits that accrue to you as a corper and utilize it.