How NYSC officials, others extort Corps members

NYSC Corps members
NYSC Corps members

“This whole scheme is trash. It’s just nonsense,” Tolani Ajayi, a serving corps member lamented as she bumped into this reporter.

Apologetically, she tried to calm herself down realising that she has been shouting and creating a scene.

Subtly, the reporter asked what the outrage was about as well as who it was directed to.

“They’re asking us to pay N1000 for project and another N500 for NYSC annual magazine,” she said.

“I just don’t understand. And they’re even making it compulsory. They refused to let me sign attendance just because I’ve not paid. They’re doing that to so many people there and it’s not just fair.

“After coming as early as 7:30 a.m. and wasting four hours, one ‘human being’ will just come and say you can’t sign attendance because you didn’t pay N1500 for project and magazine; that’s besides the N1000 we ‘dashed’ them for registration,” she lamented as she tried to use her two fingers to write in the air while she stressed the word – “registration.”

Looking around, the reporter observed other corps members complaining and one didn’t need a fortune-teller to indicate that they were angry about the same thing.

On one side were angry, frustrated-looking corps members grumbling and talking about how the whole NYSC should be scrapped. On another side, corps members who had paid struggled to sign the attendance register. Those prepared to pay queued up in the midst of the chaos and literally begged the NYSC executives, or ‘money collector’ as they are referred to, to collect their money, so they can sign and escape the scorching sun.

The NYSC executives, who are equally serving corps members, are elected officials who have the added privilege of administering the affairs of their colleagues during the mandatory one year service.

This was the observation PREMIUM TIMES made when it visited one of the many Community Development Service (CDS) meetings in Abuja.

Despite official proclamations against these illegal charges on corps members, a PREMIUM TIMES investigation shows the practice goes on without check across Nigerian states. Worse of all, no one appears to be doing anything to stop the trend.


Listening to the plight of both serving and ex-corps members, PREMIUM TIMES discovered that the charges being levied on them include payments for community projects, annual magazines, CDS registration, picnics and excursions, among others.

David Onyekachi, an ex-corps member, who served in Kwara State in 2015, told PREMIUM TIMES that the charges had become a trend that corps member get used to.

“First it was CDS registration. That one was compulsory, because without being ‘registered,’ your name won’t even be in the attendance register before you’ll start thinking of signing.

“Few weeks into the service year as well as CDS meetings, EXCOs started making announcements, saying we needed new set of chairs and tables and we were required to make contributions of five hundred naira each to enable us buy them but that it wasn’t compulsory for everyone to pay the same amount. They said you have to give something as donation if you can’t pay the required N500, I paid for that one.

“Not so long after that, they started mentioning community project and annual magazine. When I heard that, I felt it won’t require any payment because they had told us about the magazine in camp and we even submitted passports for it and the funny thing is, officials in camp had warned us not to give a dime to anyone. And then the project, I thought we just needed to brainstorm and suggests ideas for what could be done for the community.

“Not until I started hearing that we were required to pay a thousand naira for the community project and five hundred naira for the annual magazine and this time, it was compulsory.

“After paying for that one, there were subsequent charges like two hundred naira for picnic, fifty naira for late coming and some others that I can’t remember again,” he said.

Agada James, another ex-corps member told PREMIUM TIMES that although charges weren’t much at his CDS group in Abuja, they were compelled to make some payment and were disallowed from signing attendance register when they failed to comply.

“When we started, we paid a thousand naira for registration. For a while, there was no other due after the registration. There were rules or rather punishments for late coming; you get charged pending on how late you arrive at the CDS meeting, if you arrive 30 minutes late, you pay fifty naira; you pay one hundred naira if you arrive an hour late. For every CDS meeting we attended, we paid twenty naira for the chair we sat on, although that payment was not made to the NYSC officials or the EXCOs but the people who owned the chairs.

“Then there was the project we, corps members, agreed to pay for. We paid one thousand naira for it. Payment of magazine was compulsory, at the end of every service year, you pay a thousand naira for the magazine; whether you get to read it or not. That was the rule.

“Then our CDS was made to fund a compulsory project; the renovation of the library of a school somewhere in Abuja although the money was drawn from our general purse, that is, money we got from late comers and for registration, I think. It was a compulsory project.

“And then we paid a thousand naira each for our main project, which was the repainting of a secondary school in Galadimawa, Abuja”, he said.


CDS officials are staff of the NYSC. They, alongside the corps executive, coordinate the affairs of the groups on behalf of the NYSC.

PREMIUM TIMES findings indicate that not all CDS officials are involved in the extortion of corps members. Some openly dissociate themselves from receiving funds from corps members and even go as far as warning the corps members not to make any sort of payment to anyone in the CDS office throughout their service year.

Kingsley Ayeni, an ex-corps member who did his service year in Abuja, told PREMIUM TIMES that the officer in charge of his CDS (Sustainable Development Group) strictly warned against making payments to anyone in the group.

“She even said she didn’t want any contribution of any kind and that the federal government has made provisions for funding any project we might decide to embark on.

“When she found out that we were contributing money to go for outreach in some parts of Abuja, she got angry and asked that each person’s money be returned.

“The only donations that I think she ever accepted from us was when we were asked to bring some of our clothes and shoes that we were not using anymore so we could give to the less privileged. She actually asked us to bring them and told us that it wasn’t compulsory for everyone. She said it was a very good way of giving back to the society.

“She goes as far as sponsoring our transport to some locations from her own pocket and she is always punctual.”

While not all the CDS officers engage in extorting the fresh graduates, other officials, PREMIUM TIMES learnt, compel corps members to make certain payments thereby by making it compulsory.

A corps member serving in Abuja, who pleaded that her name and that of her CDS Group remain anonymous for fear of victimisation, told PREMIUM TIMES that corps members in her CDS Group were even made to, ”make a payment into an NYSC officer’s private account.”

“In my CDS, each time we paid money, it was not to an NYSC account or exco account but to a private account. And all these payments are compulsory.

“And whenever we needed money for any other thing, we contribute among ourselves because we don’t expect her (officer) to give us any money,” she said.

Another ex-corps member, Reuben Jonathan, leader of his CDS group, told PREMIUM TIMES that whenever they (the EXCOs) collect money from corps members, they hand it over to their CDS officer.

“We were in charge of collecting money from corps members for the different charges. We also paid. And whenever we collect the money, we give it to the CDS officer.

“I can’t really tell what the money is used for, because when we wanted to carry out our project, we still contributed money. Same with when we were asked to pay for the annual magazine. So I don’t know if they get to forward the money to some kind of official account for NYSC but all I can say is, the final bus top of the money, to the best of my knowledge, is the CDS officer.”


Attendance at CDS meetings is mandatory for corps members. Each attendee is expected to sign a register to show presence at such meetings. It is that register that is often used to blackmail corps members into making the illegal payments, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

“It’s one thing to charge corps members for payment of certain things, it’s another wicked thing to force them to make those payments – to the extent of toying with their attendance, when we all know that’s the main reason we come here,” the corps member, Ms. Ajayi, said.

Chinonso Stanley, an ex-corps member told PREMIUM TIMES how he was not allowed to take attendance for over a month because he was unable to pay the N1000 for community project and N500 for NYSC annual magazine as demanded by the CDS’ officials. He said it almost caused him to repeat some months of service after their Passing Out Parade.

“At first, I didn’t want to pay because I was beginning to get angry over the unnecessary and irrelevant charges.

“When I noticed they were really serious about it and they were not letting me sign, I pleaded with the excos to give me some time because things were really tight for me then, I promised to pay but the excos still won’t let me sign.

“I almost carried over my service year because it was reflecting in the attendance that I had missed CDS meetings for about seven weeks – which was not so. It was just by God’s grace that I was able to pass out and collect my NYSC certificate,” he said.

Phoebe Johnson, a serving corps member in Ogun State said, “When I got posted to my CDS group, I was already prepared to pay for at least a thing or two even though I didn’t know what I will be paying for.

“So when they asked us to pay one thousand naira for registration, I wasn’t surprised. We were then asked to pay another one thousand naira for project and five hundred naira for magazine, which I paid.

“I know before the end of my service year, we’ll be asked to pay for more things, which I’ve gotten accustomed to. Everyone now sees it as a normal, especially if you want to do this whole NYSC thing and pass out peacefully. I mean, they make it compulsory and mark you absent for that day if you fail to pay, so what choice do we have?”


A study of the NYSC Act shows that not only is the scheme responsible for initiating integrated programs in the various Local Government Areas through CDS, it is also responsible for the provision of funds necessary for the successful execution of such projects and programs.

The NYSC, domiciled in the Ministry of Youth and Sports, gets its funding from the federal government budget.

A close study of budgetary allocations to the NYSC indicate that provisions are made yearly for materials and supplies, recurrent, ‘other expenses’, utilities, magazines and periodicals, publicity and advertisements. In the 2017 budget, over N1 billion was allocated for ‘General Miscellaneous Expenses.”


When PREMIUM TIMES contacted the NYSC spokesperson, Adenike Adeyemi, she said the charges imposed on corps members by NYSC officials or other corps executives as the case may be, are illegal.

“No payment of any kind is required of the corps members.

“NYSC officials do not charge corps members for registration,” she said despite evidence to the contrary.

“There is no registration that NYSC officials are doing that any corps member is expected to make payments for, none at all.

“When you look at NYSC policies as well as rules, you’ll find out that there are no payments required. Is it registration? You don’t pay for it. Is it community development activities? You don’t pay for that. Is it for uniforms? You don’t pay.”

She said the NYSC officers deployed to monitor the corps, including the CDS officers, are aware of the rules of engagement.

“So there is no legal fee that any NYSC official will charge and I know the officials on the field, know full well that this is not in line with the policy of NYSC. Of course, there are also sanctions for everything that is done outside the policy.”

She expressed disappointment at the reports of extortion of corps members. She called on corps members who are being asked to make payments, whether compulsory or not, to report such. Such officials will be sanctioned, she said.

“Officially, NYSC does not charge corps members for services rendered,” she said.


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  • Demented buhari.

    Campaign fees for demented president buhari 4 2019 from corp members,wot a country.

    • Olawoore Babatunde

      I know you a family member of looters. Your hatred for Buhari and love for free monies and senseless post demonstrate you are mentally derailed. All these corrupt practices were entrenched by your hero GEJ. You know you are worthless and why you cannot show your true identity.

      • Demented buhari.

        See who is talking,d shit pant himself u can’t do without stealing.Ole man 99% of people like u always collect bribe from people.As 4 buhari he is d epitome of confusion & corruption.U are a plonker

      • Demented buhari.

        U are so useless like buhari,

      • Demented buhari.

        U are full of buhari’s shit.

    • Dr Bunmi Binitie

      Demented? Do you have any home-training at all or you were actually trainned to disrespect elders and superiors? What a shame!

      • Demented buhari.

        U are so sick in ur empty brain,mr respect,u are full of shit.Go & look 4 petrol 2 buy u pillock.

        • Dr Bunmi Binitie

          Gutter mouth ghetto boy with no home-trainning! I am not suprised you reacted with insults as you insult your parents at home!

          It is your mother who is sick and a pillock and empty in the brain for failing to give you any home-trainning!

          The Lord rebuke you!

          • Demented buhari.

            U are just a little piece of shit,have no time 4 gormless like u.

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            Please ignore the dolt whose parents should have sued the makers of a defective Golden Circle c ⭕️ ndom.

      • Demented buhari.

        Like u pillock.

        • Dr Bunmi Binitie

          No, your mother is the pillock! Son of Lucifer! Be gone!

      • M

        Buhari is not my superior, and respect is earned not given. Respect for the aged was only important in the past when only the strong, wise or lucky were able to survive disease, wars and wild animal attacks to become old men and women. Please grow up.

        • Dr Bunmi Binitie

          You lie to yourself! PMB is your superior as he is the president of Nigeria! What are you? Not much by your infantile rude comments!

          And , no, respect for elders is earned once the person is an elder. They should have taught you that at home. Respect for elders can never fail to be important except you do not wish to see old age cos the Word of God cannot be broken…

          “Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:2‭-‬3

          The choice is yours, arrogant boy! If you are used to respecting your parents at home, you will respect other people’s parents.

          Go and tell your illiterate mother to grow up and be alive to her responsibilities of trainning you!

          • Commissioner for Happiness

            Wonders never end, the same comment you used to reference Bible passage the same you used to insult his mother who has nothing to do with it. Check am again o.

          • Dr Bunmi Binitie

            I did not insult his mother but turned his insult back to her since she is the one who failed to train him. I am a grandmother and will not tolerate these insults

    • Bitacrim

      So so sad for you and you chose the appropriate name for yourself. Here is a big national mess and you are reducing it to politics.

      • Demented buhari.

        Really mr muppet,u are just a complete waste of space.

        • Bitacrim

          You’ve got a really bitter heart. I don’t know what Buhari must have done to you. All the same, I sympathise with you because hatred is very destructive to the hater. I just can’t imagine how you are going to cope with this state of mind for the next 6+ years. I hope you survive it.

          • Demented buhari.

            Mr gormless,shithari is on his way out 2 joint mugabe in old people home.

  • tsunami1earthquake

    The fear in Nigeria with respect to implementation of any project or scheme is that such project evidently fails at one time or the other, due to the so-called ‘Nigerian factor’ people talk about. Many of us on this forum did the NYSC and none of these ‘charges’ ever came up or paid for by the corps members.

    So where have these novel charges suddenly dropped from these times around? The so-called ‘Nigerian factor’ is building up to destroy the NYSC. Some of the interviewees in this story claimed that fear of having their service extended was the driving force to make them pay up. I still believe that the NYSC is centralized wherein the final arbiter on any matter rests with the NYSC Directorate Headquarters in Abuja.

    But the NYSC Spokesperson made it clear that such charges and levies of any sort are ILLEGAL. Then she went further to advise corps members to report such practices. Hmmmm… many of the things reported here happened in Abuja, a stone-throw to the NYSC Headquarters. Would the people in this Headquarters claim they never knew things like these were happening under their very nose? These happened in Abuja; only Heavens know what would be happening in the 36 states of the country far removed from Abuja.

    Just telling the corps members to report such happenings is just very weakish statement because such illegal acts would or should have uprooted the NYSC officials from cozy seats and comforts of their offices in Abuja HQ to get up, get out and begin to do something about these illegal acts.

    Very disheartening that Nigerians don’t know how to checkmate themselves and stop evils from happening; but these same Nigerians would be the first to cast stones of guilt and aspersions on leaders at the apex of government! Should everybody do his own bit, as at when due, these spates of corruption would never have happened.

    A similar happening is when Nigerians had paid their hard-earned cash as insurance premiums to the National Health Insurance Scheme but had always been denied medical treatments and interventions when these policyholders visited the participating hospitals. Here the policyholders were treated like lepers and were told all sorts of unprintable things ranging from the absence of their names on the scheme to an outright denial of medical treatment!

    The question is: what really works in this country? I am yet to see or find one! The only thing we see is the shifting of blames to someone else, while taking a narcissistic stance that exculpates the accuser from any blames!

  • M

    NYSC is a joke that should be scrapped as it has failed in its purpose of integrating the country.

  • Konkolo

    One of my friends grand child is serving in Rivers State. Information coming out of that sector about the NYSC officials there are so terrible. For one, if you are a female and do not like your assignment posting, you are either made to cough out at least N30,000.00 or made to sleep with a male corrupt official in order to be re-posted to a better place. What a country and what a mess of all institutions put in place to work but don’t function!!!!!! River State NYSC officials, please stop corrupting our children/grand children.

  • Boss

    I always laugh when people say that youth in Nigeria are not given opportunities to run the country. On this forum, you have the person with the moniker Demented Buhari trying to trivialize and derail focus on this heinous scandal against the Youth Corpers. I am sure Demented Buhari is a young person. The Executive elected is saying that they do not know what happens the money they forced their fellow Corpers to pay; this is a blatant lie. They should come clean; what is in it for them? The Executive should have been the first to protect the members but they have become the instrument of extortion. Look into the Student Union too; it is the same case of corruption. I even read about budget of security votes in Student Union. The Minister of Sports & Youth is no more than a youth but where is he in all these? This is very distressing.

  • Blesn Iheanacho

    I served at Crossriver state, 2016/2017 batch, it’s the same story. It even became worse when our LI (local government inspector) was changed, we started praying for the former one to return.