Every Nigerian graduate is mandated to take part in the NYSC program and get an NYSC discharge certificate afterward. The NYSC, an acronym for National Youth Service Corps, is a program that has been set up by the Nigerian government in order to involve its graduates in nation-building and the development of the country. This means that every Nigerian graduate must take part in the program because without doing this, they are bound to suffer career-wise.
However, even though the NYSC program is a compulsory one, there are instances where one can be exempted from the service and be granted an NYSC Exemption Letter which will replace the NYSC certificate and serve the same purpose. There are different reasons why one can be exempted from the service which we will discuss in this article.
All You Need To Know About NYSC Exemption Letter
The NYSC exemption letter is a certificate that is issued to Nigerian graduates, whether home-trained or foreign-trained, who by law could not participate in the NYSC scheme in spite of the fact that such person attended a regular program in a University or Polytechnic program and graduated.
The letter is to prove that you did not abscond from the NYSC program but could not take part in it because of certain limitations. Every person seeking to enjoy a career in the public sector or work in government parastatals must produce an NYSC certificate to proceed. In the absence of the NYSC discharge certificate, an NYSC exemption letter must be produced to show the graduate did not purposely abscond from the service but was absent for a reason.
Who Is Eligible For An NYSC Exemption Letter?
Not everyone can lay their hands on the NYSC exemption letter. Those who are given the letter provide special permission or reason not to take part in the National Youth Service Scheme.
According to the National Youth Service Corps Decree 1993 section 2 subsection (1), it is stipulated that “With effect from 1st August 1985, a person shall NOT be called upon to serve in the service corps if, at the date of graduation or obtaining his diploma or other professional qualification if”:
- He or she is over 30 years of age
- He or she has served in the Armed Forces of the Federation or the Nigeria Police Force for a period of more than nine months; or
- He/she is a member of staff of any of the following:- The Nigerian Security Organization or
– The State Security Service
– The National Intelligence Agency
– The Defence Intelligence Service
- He or she has been conferred with any national honor.
If you have been conferred with a national honor such as the OON, MON, MFR, or the likes, you will be exempted from the NYSC and be given an NYSC exemption letter.
Essentially, if you are not one of the above, you must, as required by law, take part in the compulsory NYSC program for one year after graduating from school as a Nigerian.
How to Apply and Get The NYSC Exemption Letter
Let us take a look at the processes for applying and getting an NYSC exemption letter. Take note that the process of getting one is not a herculean task once you have met the requirements. However, you must realize that the processes for the collection of the exemption letter are not quite the same but they differ based on the location where the graduate seeking the letter had their tertiary education.
There are Nigerians who schooled in the country and there are others who relocate outside Nigeria to have their education. The collection of NYSC exemption certificates differ for these two categories of Nigerian graduates.
How Home-Trained Graduates Can Get Their Letters
If you are a Nigerian graduate who schooled in Nigeria and completed your tertiary education in any higher institution located within the country, the process of getting your NYSC exemption letter begins from the Corps Producing Institutions (CPIs), which is the tertiary institution that you attended. The CPIs include the National Universities Commission (for Universities and degree awarding institutions), and the National Board for Technical Education (for Mono/Polytechnics).
- First, the institution that you attended has to submit the master list of their graduates alongside the Senate-approved result to NYSC. Apparently, your name will be included as a student.
- After the submission above, a print-out is consequently processed by the NYSC. This printout classifies those who are to be called up for service and those to be exempted from it.
- After the print-out has been processed, it is then sent back to the Institutions for verifications and corrections, after which they are returned to NYSC as an agreed/corrected document.
- After the print-out has been sent to the NYSC, the Certificates of Exemption are then produced by the NYSC, documented, and sent back to the Institutions for issuance to the appropriate persons.
Take note that that the collection of Certificate of Exemption for home trained Nigerian graduates is done only within the Institution of graduation and not in the NYSC office. All you have to do is wait to be issued a letter or follow through at your department if you have issues.
How Foreign-Trained Graduates Can Get Their Letters
As for foreign-trained Nigerian graduates who traveled abroad to bag their degrees, the process for obtaining the exemption certificate is different from that of home-trained graduates. In this case, the process begins with the evaluation of credentials.
- First, your credentials and other related documents are verified, including your International passport.
- After credentials have been evaluated, you as the foreign-trained graduate will then be made to register. This registration is done physically at the NYSC directorate headquarters in Abuja. So you will have to return home from where you studied to get things done.
- It is at the point of registration in Abuja that the classification of who is to be called up or who is to be exempted is determined.
- After the classification, Certificates of Exemption are then produced for those exempted from service.
- Take note that Unlike the process for home-trained graduates where they have to collect their exemption certificates at the candidate’s institution, the foreign graduates will have to collect their own Certificates of Exemption at the NYSC directorate headquarters at the stipulated time communicated.
Also take note that for foreign-trained graduates, the NYSC Certificate of Exemption collection is grouped under the three batches of the service year and this is dependent on the date of your registration. This equally would be communicated to exempted graduates at the point of registration.
Also, the collection of Certificate of Exemption is done strictly with an identification card such as an International passport. In addition to this, the bearer must be physically present. No one can collect for you.
How To Print Out Your Exemption Letter From NYSC Portal
Apart from physically collecting your NYSC exemption certificate, you can also print it out. Printing the NYSC exemption letter online is not a difficult thing to do. All you need to do is follow the steps below:
- Visit the official NYSC webpage portal.nysc.org.ng
- Enter your account details, i.e. your username and password in order to access your account
- Once you insert your account details, you will be logged in and you will consequently see an option for printing the letter
Take note that whether you are a home-trained or foreign-trained graduate, you can print out the letter this way once you meet the exemption letter requirements.
What NYSC Exemption Letter Can Be Used For
Like we have mentioned before, every Nigerian graduate is mandated by law to undertake a one-year compulsory national service to the nation through the National Youth Service Scheme. This means that any graduate who refuses to serve will face repercussions.
In fact, in Nigeria, if you are a graduate, you cannot be given any government employment or opportunity to serve in the military or police without proving that you served in the NYSC. The proof that you served is usually the NYSC discharge certificate and this must be provided if you must be given a government job.
However, if you did not serve because you were above 30 years or met the other requirements for exemption from the NYSC program, then you must produce your NYSC exemption letter to be considered. So, just like the discharge certificate, the NYSC exemption letter is very important in getting a Nigerian graduate a government job because it is part of the compulsorily required prerequisite documents needed to be considered for any federal or state government employment in Nigeria.
Government parastatals are not the only places where the NYSC exemption letters are important. Private companies in Nigeria now demand that a job seeker either provides the NYSC discharge certificate or exemption letter if they are to be gainfully employed as well. Without a doubt, the exemption letters are of utmost importance to any Nigerian graduate who did not serve in the NYSC.
Take note that the NYSC exemption letter is also very useful when you need to apply for different federal government social investment schemes, including schemes like N-Power or the National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF). If you are a Nigerian graduate who did not serve in the NYSC, get yourself an exception letter!
Do You Have A Correction To Make? This Is How To Do It
Sometimes, when trying to get your NYSC exemption letter, you can encounter some errors. Some of the errors that can occur include the omission or misspelling of name/s. You can also encounter other errors that need corrections. Of course, the next logical move to make after noticing errors is to seek how to correct them.
The processes of making corrections on the NYSC exemption letter differ, depending on whether you are a home-trained or foreign-trained graduate.
How Home-Trained Graduates Can Make Corrections
If you are a home-trained graduate, you can make your corrections by following these steps:
- First, lay a complaint through the institution that you graduated from indicating the nature of the error you have seen on your exemption letter.
- When your complaint has been made, your school will react by forwarding such cases to the NYSC with necessary attachments such as a photocopy of the document.
- You wait for a new letter to be issued to you. During this time, you have to follow up if you notice a delay.
How Foreign-Trained Graduates Can Make Corrections
If you are a Nigerian who went to school abroad and a foreign-trained graduate, you can make your own corrections by following these steps:
- First, you have to submit a handwritten application to NYSC
- Your application must be accompanied by a photocopy of the data page of your International Passport and the original Certificate of Exemption
- The letter must be addressed to the Director-General, NYSC NDHQ, Abuja, indicating their address and telephone number
- After writing the letter, you will have to wait for a new exemption to be issued to you
Applying For Replacement NYSC Exemption Letter
Sometimes, your NYSC exemption letter can get damaged or get missing for some reason. In this case, the only thing left to do is to get a replacement. Getting a replacement for your NYSC exemption letter also comes in two ways; for the home-trained graduates and the foreign-trained ones.
If you are a Nigerian who schooled in Nigeria, follow the steps below to get a replacement for your NYSC exemption letter:
- First, write a letter of notification/request to the NYSC
- The letter should be routed through your institution of graduation and addressed to the Director-General of the NYSC
- Along with your letter must be accompanied by the following documents:
- Police Extract/Report
- Court Affidavit
- Where available, a copy of the lost Certificate of Exemption
- After writing the letter, you will wait for a replacement to be sent to you.
If you are a Nigerian graduate who schooled abroad, the process for replacing your NYSC exemption letter is quite different.
- First, you will also be required to write a letter of notification/request which will be addressed to the Director-General of the NYSC
- However, in this case, you will be asked to provide only a Police Extract/Report, unlike the home-trained graduates who will have to provide a court affidavit as well.
Take note that the damaged exemption letter that you’re seeking to replace will not be reprinted. Instead, you will be issued a letter that proves you had it. It is this letter that will serve as the certificate when you need to present it anywhere.
Also, take note that the replacement comes at no cost at all. But, you can’t get it by proxy which means you must be there in person to collect it.