would expect to find a National Youth Service Corps camp. The area
popularly known as Country Home is defined by its fine architectural
pieces and the calibre of people who live there.
The serenity of the neighbourhood extends into the camp.
entrance is manned by soldiers and men of the National Security and
Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). Going past them means going past a barrage
of questions and the responses must satisfy the interrogators.
corps members decked in white shirts and shorts buzz about in an
environment that bears more striking resemblance to a park than a camp
kept with regimental precision. Everything looks clean here.
is in this space that soldiers drawn from the Nigerian Army’s
Engineering Construction Regiment (ECR) drill 2,100 corps members called
up for service in Osun State. Of these number, 788 are females while
the remaining 1,322 are males.
But beyond the early morning
parades and obstacle courses the corps members have to undergo, Daily
Trust observes that they also spend time in the Skill Acquisition and
Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) centre on the camp. Each of them
must learn at least one skill before leaving the camp.
training our corps members in Osun in such a way that they will not be
job seekers after the service year. We are equipping them to be able to
stand on their own and even become employers of labour,” the NYSC
Coordinator in Osun State, Mr Emannuel Attah said.
various skills that can be learnt on the camp. We attach seriousness to
this Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurial Development (SAED) and I
always encourage all our corps members to make good use of this great
opportunity,” he added.
One of the skill acquisition programme
drawing a lot of attention is the gari production plant in the camp
which produces the gari that corps members in the camp consume during
their orientation programme. It is also used to train corps members in
the gari production.
“We are not buying gari from outside
whenever we are in camp. We produce the gari that we consume. Corps
members make the gari themselves. We also have a bakery where we are
producing the bread that we eat on camp. So, we are not buying bread
from outside. The corps members work in the bakery to produce the bread
and that gives them the opportunity to learn how to bake bread,” he
Another project of the camp is the ambitious
just-concluded 16-bed health centre. The centre is supported by a
pharmacy and laboratory and the coordinator is confident that the
centre, built with self-help and support from friends of NYSC, will
provide services not only to the camp but for the host community.
is still a tall dream though as the state government has not equipped
the centre yet, something it had promised to do. But when it does become
operation, whether the wealthy residents of Country Home would endure
the security bottleneck to access medical care at the Osun NYSC camp is
But this is not a major priority now for the
corps members currently in the camp. For most of them, the camp has met
and exceeded their expectations.
Antai Peter is one of them.
is fun. I’m indeed glad to be part of this camp. I feel like we should
not leave this camp. I will miss the camp, my roommates and friends when
we leave,” he said.
This was re-echoed by Adeniji Kehinde Rachael.
was really stressful. As you know, regimented life is difficult,” she
said. “But I was able to adjust. Having to follow stipulated rules and
regulations even after doing strenuous activities has been so tough. I
think we ought to have longer rests because our bodies need rest.
However, I enjoy the serenity of this camp. If I am given an opportunity
to serve again, I will choose Osun orientation camp because asides the
stress, the entire camp premises is beautiful.”
During his visit
to the camp, the Director General of NYSC, Brig-Gen. Suleiman Kazaure
was also impressed with what he saw. He commended the corps members for
their good conduct and lauded the Osun NYSC coordinator and the entire
staff of NYSC in the state.
With this batch ready to leave camp
and serve in various parts of Osun State, from the smiles on their
faces, it is clear they will be taking fond memories of the camp
wherever they are posted to.