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Can 31 Years Go for NYSC?

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If you are a Nigerian graduate who is above 30 years old, you might be wondering if you can still go for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program. The NYSC is a one-year mandatory service scheme for Nigerian graduates who are below the age of 30 at the time of graduation. The aim of the program is to foster national unity and development among the youth.

However, not everyone is eligible to participate in the NYSC program. According to the NYSC Act, Section 2, Subsection 1:

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“Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, with effect from 1st August, 1985, a person shall not be called upon to serve in the service corps if, at the date of his graduation or obtaining his diploma or other professional qualification-

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(a) he is over the age of thirty years; or

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(b) he has served in the armed forces of the Federation or the Nigeria Police Force for a period of more than nine months; or

(c) he is a member of staff of any of the following, that is-

(i) the Nigerian Security Organisation; or

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(ii) the State Security Service; or

(iii) the National Intelligence Agency; or

(iv) the Defence Intelligence Service; or

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(d) he has been conferred with any National Honour.”

Therefore, if you are 31 years old or above at the time of your graduation, you are not eligible to go for NYSC. Instead, you will be given a Certificate of Exemption, which is also equivalent to the NYSC Discharge Certificate. The Certificate of Exemption is a valid document that proves that you have fulfilled your national service obligation, and it can be used for employment and other purposes.

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However, if you graduated before you turned 30, but you did not register for NYSC within two years of your graduation, you will also be given a Certificate of Exemption. This is because the NYSC Act states that:

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“Any person who qualifies to participate in the service corps and fails to make himself available for service in the service corps continuously for the period specified in subsection (2) of this section, shall be liable-

(a) on conviction to a fine of N2,000 or to imprisonment for a term of twelve months; or

(b) to both such fine and imprisonment.”

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Therefore, it is advisable to register for NYSC as soon as possible after your graduation, if you are below 30 years old and you meet other requirements. This way, you can avoid missing out on the benefits and opportunities that come with serving your country.

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In conclusion, if you are 31 years old or above at the time of your graduation, you cannot go for NYSC. You will be given a Certificate of Exemption instead. However, if you graduated before you turned 30, but you did not register for NYSC within two years of your graduation, you will also be given a Certificate of Exemption. Therefore, it is important to register for NYSC as soon as possible after your graduation, if you are eligible and willing to serve your country.

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