That Nigerian fresh graduates as Corpers have started receiving N33,000 as new monthly allowance, is nothing but a good news. It is long expected really, and a prayer answered for many who just joined the scheme weeks ago..
True to the words of the NYSC DG, as promised at a camp in Bauchi State, days ago – the long speculated news that have been circulating across media for years is now a reality, as there were wild jubilations among tons of beneficiaries today, as many couldn’t contain their joy. See reactions here – Corpers celebrate new pay nationwide.
So, I want to specially congratulate all graduates-serving corp members and potential ones who might be beneficiaries of this laudable welfare package aimed at easing the cost of living of many corpers serving the nation.
No doubt, N33,000 today is almost like double of the old allowance, and for me, this can still do a little, and address minor financial challenges better than, irrespective of untold inflation that may come with pay rise, once the minimum wage is approved nation wide.
And that said, base on experience, I have here 5 ways through which the new Allawee can be beneficial to corp members.
1. Ease of Accommodation : After I was posted out of Kwara State Yikapata Camp in 2013, the first challenge I had when leaving for Ilorin was where to pass the night. Thank God for some Christian Groups whom I followed their buses to Ilorin and provided us a room to sleep till we decide if we are staying permanently or leaving for somewhere else.
With N33,000 monthly, a corper can easily put like two to three months Allawe together to rent a good space. I also strongly think that more than before, this new figure will make service life more enjoyable for corpers.
There is no doubt that in many cases, government leaves corpers to sort themselves out after discharging them from camps, with deployment letters, to go to their respective places of Primary Assignments, hence many have to provide for their own accommodation out of the meagre pay, and as well arrange logistics for the “to and from” movement from residence to PPA.
But with this jack up now, many corpers squatting in free corper lodges in towns and cities, many of which are in a deplorable states, like the one I lived in at Ilorin can afford a private comfortable space to put their heads, away from the continued practice brought from campus.
NYSC should be gateway to a new life, and the earlier corpers start facing the reality of paying for rented apartment, the better for them to understand the new responsibility that awaits them after service life.
When you find a small low cost room to put your head, it will afford you enough private time to think and read about stuffs that can help you after service, especially if you’re writing a professional exam during service year. You can as well accommodate your visiting friends, girlfriend or guest when necessary.. While I was serving, a family called that someone is coming to Ilorin to write the then controversial immigration test where many graduates lost their lives, but because I was living in the corper’s lodge, I simply told them I have no space he can stay. This is one benefit that you may not enjoy in crowded free accommodation.
2. More Money to Feed: There is no doubt that the N19,800 was never enough to cater for the adults lifestyle of many corpers today. On many occasions, the money would have even finished before month end. It unexplainable why it doesn’t last that much, but the truth is that it finishes quickly.
While serving, once it is 20-something of month like this, complain don start especially with feeding and we are already praying for the next pay to come on time. This is a norm everywhere except those who enjoyed huge additional pay from PPA or extra upkeep from home. I think I first experienced Ulcer during NYSC.
Coping with N19,800 can be harrowing, especially if you are posted to cities like Lagos, Abuja, PH, na him be say your own don meet you be that. The experience many went through can be better imagined. I think with 33,000, one should be able to afford a better means of feeding while the year lasts, so you don’t come from service and look like you are just coming from a prison. Lol. This is peculiar to guys, who are left alone after university education unlike some ladies who I know were still being sent food stuff while serving. So, once in a while you can enter Obbo Market in Ilorin and spoil yourself with good and rich food stuff. It’s important o… Lol
3. More Money to Save: The first dream of many students for service year is to take advantage of the monthly stipends and save up for personal development while in service and plan for years after, in view of the disturbing statistics of unemployment in the country. So, many always wish to save certain percentage to start a small business or to facilitate after service Job hunting. But when you get to NYSC, reality sets in. Living looks mostly hard to even imagine keep one money aside unspent. If you know anyone who saved well from 19,800 monthly, it is either they have additional income or they starved themselves of some things.
The nation news paper once shows simple ways to save money during nysc, click here to read more. It might be hard, but people do it to achieve their purpose.
I remembered how a guy in our lodge then will buy 2 packs of Indomie at N3,000 and 3 kongos of Garri with kulikuli and eat that often every month just to buy a laptop. That’s how hard it is for many to cough out a certain amount monthly and only very disciplined can save appreciably.
With N33,000 today, one can decide to live on N20,000 take for instance and keep the leftover of N13,000 for the next 12months, that’s N156,000 after service.
With that you can buy a laptop and a printer for your business centre.
You can buy yourself a copier machine or fairly used professional camera for photography.
You can obtain a masters form and pay for your first year tuition fee from this.
You can even register for professional exams like ICAN to become accountant, CIPM for Managers, APCON for Advertising professionals, among many others.
You can even have enough money to learn those highly sought after skills that money may have been a barrier. Skills in ICT, Beauty Industry like make-up, and Food Industry skill like catering – all of which are good ways to benefit from the new allawee payment.
4. Ease of Addressing After school Financial difficulty: That there is something huge coming every month is an enough relief for a fresh corper. Now you can afford to buy like two to three shirts when necessary and can even subscribe browsing data for your siblings when such requests come without finding excuses. A friend once said, that she feels happy that after all the investments and efforts of her parent on her education, she was at least able to send her mother N10,000 once as a little sign of appreciation. Just like one Imagine how many people who will be willing to give little to others too, but for the limited pay can’t. But now, that Allawee has been increased by more than 50%, it will better the life of many lots.
5. Improved Social Status: N33,000 today is far more than the take home of many underpaid workers in Nigeria, especially those in professions like teaching in nursery schools, administrative departments as secretaries, front desk officers in some companies and many of unskilled workforce in hotel jobs, as waiters, barman, and petrol attendant in filling stations. Nigeria has a culture of not paying commensurate wages for workers and this is getting worst day by day. This interesting article on salary slavery that I once read gives an overview of the pitiable state many workers have found themselves.
So, being privileged to know little how larger life working life can be in some places can give you clue on how to start living right and that as a corper, you are almost like a newly hired high school teacher or Admin officer somewhere, in terms of pay and can equally give self worth and assessment. This can help you to strategize on how to cope with salaries when you eventually get a Job after Service. I pray you are lucky.. You can read up this article too, on how to get job quickly after NYSC.
Well, as you Celebrate this your unexpected NYSC allowance, remember it is a pay rise to make condition of living better for you as corper, please try and avoid wasteful spendings. I have been there, and I know how it feels. Spend wisely! Enjoy the rest of your service year.
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