Thursday, July 31, 2008

Can I get a job in Nigeria without doing the NYSC?

Question: Can I get a job without doing the NYSC?

Reply: Yes you can. While some employers require that applicants have the NYSC certificate, others don’t require this. Not everyone gets called up for service immediately they get done with university. I have friends who got called up to serve 2-3 years after graduating, and by then they were already settled in good jobs. It’s best to find out from the potential employer what their requirements are. PricewaterhouseCoopers for instance is currently hiring graduates and they require NYSC. Some companies might have different requirements for foreign-graduates--it is best to call or contact them to find out.

Keep in mind that if you want to obtain a master’s degree in Nigeria or hold certain public offices you must have completed the NYSC or obtained an exemption certificate. In fact, I read it is a criminal offence to dodge NYSC (huh?). British-trained Hon. Dimeji Bankole came under this fire when he was to be sworn in as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. If you didn’t follow the whole Speaker/NYSC episode last November, I've linked some articles below:

Lack of NYSC haunts speaker

Did speaker dodge NYSC?

Speaker Responds(click to view certficate heh heh)


  1. Nice post! People always make it seem that you absolutely cannot get a job in Nigeria without serving.

  2. good qstn! and answer too.

    while u can work in naija wivout serving, it's safer to serve. most "reputable" companies will demand NYSC (doesnt mean pple with connections dont get in however)

    yes it is a criminal offence. but who knows how many "criminals" have been caught and punished?

    for foreign graduates, u have the advantage of choosing where u want to serve, but that's where the favoritism ends.

    finally, it's "usually" students who have issues in their final year in sch who get to serve 2-3 yrs layta, the rule is for u to srve immediately after u graduate.

  3. Hmmm...I had no idea that it was a crime not to serve. But maybe that's cos I saw it as being similar to JAMB...everyone has to take it.

  4. Just came across your blog.

    Am relocating 2 9ja in 3 weeks; 10ks 2 getting married.
    I have 2 do the NYSC thing which am not looking forward 2.

    But its d job market that bothers me. What will I do till feb when I'll b going 4 NYSC. Thats if I register on time o.

    God help me.

  5. @Iwalewa, I also had the impression I couldn't work without doing service. It all comes down to the employer.
    @smaragd, thanks for d contribution. Don't mind them oh, is it corper criminals that they will be chasing? Have fun at your wedding ;)
    @archiwiz, that was a shocker for me too.
    @OluwaDee, nice name :) Congrats on d marriage! NYSC is not that bad. You'll get a choice of where you want to serve. My next post will talk a bit about the job market. An option might be to get a job working as a contracter until you start service. When I first arrived, I did some work for an ngo before I want to camp. You have more than enough time to register. Keep checking the nysc website for dates for your batch.

  6. That's always been my question. NYSC from what Im aware of should only be in regards to companies that deal with the government so I dont know why everyone is making it a requirement... but I do hope to get an exemption if I ever do go back.... Do you know the requirements to get one?

    Nice blog... really useful information

  7. @diamond hawk, thanks! not too sure on how one gets an exemption. I think age plays a part in that. I'll find out though.

  8. When I become president, the first thing I'll do is to scrap NY... (I hope no one will report this)

    I still can't understand the need for it.

    Poor Bankole.

  9. well I heard that if u are hired as an expatriate then you don't need NYSC, but if u ever wanna get into politics in naija, u need NYSC

  10. i'm sorry but you need to have NYSC before working at ANY institution in Nigeria, UNLESS you're a business owner or entrepreneur. So you can work for your daddi's or mummy's or auntie's biz without it but otherwise you MUST get NYSC before you work.

    It is a federal offence, and not only that, but let the workers union of where you're working catch you. they don't play with such things. especially if it's a respectable company (and most companies like to think of themselves as respectable) cuz just one word of an employee working without NYSC will cause a damaging scandal.

    There's nothing like an expatriate exemption. You're nigerian you simply must serve.

    Now, there are ways around NYSC (as this is nigeria) and i know someone who had their papers delivered to them in the office without even moving a muscle. so......

    But papers, you must have sha.

  11. I agreed with the above post.
    I think the problems of unemployment is not the problems of any one country,i think it is the problems of whole world.So it is the responsibility of the government that they should be prepared some remedies against him,An other problems of the world is called Inflation:it is a another worst thing,"When the demand of the goods and services are exceed to the available supply is called inflation.

  12. Yes and No, it depends, you can get a job BUT high paying jobs which obviously, can only be gotten from big well established companies will require you to complete your NYSC. If you are looking for skilled jobs in banks, oil companies etc, you definitely need an NYSC or exemption letter, that is the government policy

  13. The answer is a big NO. The basic rule is that if you are Nigerian and have been educated to certain level ( I think the minimum level is HND), then in order to work in Nigeria you MUST have either the NYSC certificate or the exemption certificate.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Ok my question is: What if u start nysc and then u get a non-deferrable post graduate scholarship in this world top 10 university, can you like apply for a break, do the programme for one year and then come back to finish your nysc when you're done? I've searched online and I can't find the answer to this issue. Biko someone who knows shld tell me abeg. Schools let u take some time off if you have to, I hope NYSC is not a slave driver organization.

  16. @anonymous, I don't think that you can defer NYSC once you start. They aren't all.

    If you "disappear" mid-service, you might just find it harrowing to get the clearance required to pick up your certificate at the end of the service year. But as you and I know, it's not so much what you know in Nigeria...but who you know...!

    Most likely if you miss some time, you might be asked to come back for the next set. But I can find out more info. Inbox me at

  17. I'm a fresh graduate and I will probably be going for my nysc next year march. I have an interview next week, but I don't know maybe I should tell my employer that have no serve or I should them after I'm fortunate to get the job. I'm planning to process my nysc to anywhere I get a job

  18. you should probably not mention it unless you are asked, if you are lucky, you may not be asked esp if its a small private firm. but if you are asked, i'd advice you not to lie. Just confidently explain your plans to them. goodluck