Any student who wants to make it into the Nigerian national youth service corps (NYSC) must first acquaint themselves with the official national youth service corps (NYSC) terminologies and acronyms that are used in the organization. 

As this article will show, these terminologies and acronyms are very much in line with those of the military, only they have their own special meanings and uses in the context of national youth service corps (NYSC). 

It’s important to understand these terms if you want to get through your service year successfully! Here are some national youth service corps (NYSC) Terminologies And Acronyms Every Prospective Corps Member Should Know.


The term NYSC stands for National Youth Service Corps. The scheme was introduced in 1990 as a way of addressing the high levels of unemployment among graduates and to inculcate civic responsibility and a sense of nationhood among Nigerian youths. 

To be eligible to join, you must be between eighteen to twenty-five (18-25) years old and not have any other employment commitments (e.g. formal education) when your service begins. You will also need to meet the minimum requirements set by the country’s Ministry of Education or Federal Ministry of Education or equivalent state ministry or department responsible for education at that time. 

There are six different sectors in which you can serve: Teaching; Health; Engineering and Surveying; Environmental Protection/Wildlife Conservation; Information Technology/Computer Science; Community Development/Social Work and Administration

Book of life 

The Book of Life is a document that contains the names of all persons who have been duly enlisted in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and who are qualified for registration as members of the National Youth Service Corps. 

While you are on active service, your name will be entered into the Book and you will receive a certificate to this effect. Upon completion of your service, your name will be removed from the Book.


Otondo is a name that soldiers call 'Corps members', especially when they are not in good mood. Although, the origin of the name is not known but it means a novice, fool or mumu. The meaning of the word appears to be offensive, but in most cases it's used for fun.


CDS refers to community development service (CDS). It is a term you will hear often in the national youth service corps (NYSC) camp. Community Development Service (CDS) is a requirement for every corps member and is compulsory and focuses on providing services to the community, assisting in all developmental aspects of a locality like agriculture, education, health, environment and more. 

A CDS officer’s main task is to ensure that communities are provided with basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing and more.


The term corper in national youth service corps (NYSC) camp refers to a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) who has been recruited by the Federal Government of Nigeria to serve the country for a period of one year. 

This term is also used in other countries with similar youth corps programs. For example, members of the United States's National Guard are often referred to as corpers as well.

Place of Primary Assignment (PPA) 

The term PPA in national youth service corps (NYSC) is what corps members call their primary place of assignment, which is the place they will be posted to, the place where they will be based out of. For instance, if you are a corps member in Lagos and your PPA is Abuja, then that means you would be posted to Abuja and live there for the duration of your service year. 

Your PPA might change over time as your assignment rotates through the country; however, it does not change unless you are permanently reassigned elsewhere by national youth service corps (NYSC) Headquarters.

Physical Training (PT) is a compulsory part of the NYSC program. Physical training provides opportunities to develop skills in self-discipline and self-motivation, to promote the development of physical fitness, and to prepare for participation in military activities. 

All corps members undergo PT on a weekly basis during their stay at the NYSC camp. To ensure that they are physically ready for any eventuality, PT sessions are conducted at least once in every six months by the Camp's specialized instructors.


Allawee is the allowance that NYSC members receive monthly. It is a measure of the cost of living and is calculated based on location, occupation and qualifications. Allawee is given to members in Nigeria and other developing countries, while those in developed countries are not given any allowance. 

In both situations, allowances should be used for what they were intended for: basic needs like food, clothing and shelter; transportation to work; education or vocational training; or health care (in cases where there is no immediate family). 

There are also some sources that claim an allawee gives you more flexibility than just spending your money on food and rent every month.

Call-Up Letter

An national youth service corps (NYSC) call-up letter is the first correspondence from the agency that a prospective corps member will receive. It includes information about the call-up process, pre-departure orientation, and details about what to bring on their journey. 

Once you are called up for service, you will also be given an itinerary of events to complete in preparation for departure.


This stands for Corps Liason Officer. The CLO is himself a corps member. However, he represents other corps members in administrative capacities. He is the link between the authorities and the corps members.


The LI is also called the LGI. The full meaning is Local Government Inspector. He supervises activities, and represents the corps at the local level.


This means Zonal Inspector. The state is divided into different zones made up of a few local government areas. He however oversees the LIs within his domain.


OBS in full means Orientation Broadcasting Service. It is the media arm of the orientation exercise. It is manned mainly by corps members who are broadcasters. Also, corps members into any media related practice are welcome.

Finally, please do well to let us know what ever you would love to know about national youth service corps (NYSC) in the comment section. I would answer as soon as possible.