Wigwe University, a private University owned by Group Managing Director, Access Holdings Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe is committing an offence against Nigerian law with the practice of demanding tuition fees in dollars instead of the local currency.
It is illegal in Nigeria for any goods and service providers, including school proprietors to demand fees in dollars.
The Central Bank of Nigeria in its Act of 2007 stated inter-alia that, “the currency notes issued by the Bank shall be legal tender in Nigeria…for the payment of any amount.”
The Act stipulates that any person (s) who contravenes this provision is guilty of an offense and shall be liable on conviction to a prescribed fine or six months imprisonment.
The Wigwe University which is about to flag-off its academic activities is offering courses in Arts, Engineering, Management & Social Sciences, and Science and Computing.
Wigwe University‘s 2024/2025 fees sighted on its official website by WESTERNPOST revealed that College of Arts students are expected to pay $12,000 annual as tuition fee; College of Engineering, $15,000; College of Management and Social Sciences, $15,000; and College of Science and Computing, $15,000.
Additional charges, according to the school are in Naira.
For example, the accommodation Fee: Luxury Single Bedroom apartment plan N1,000,000 / per session; premium one En-Suite Bedroom Plan, N3,845,000 / per session; classic 1 Plan, N3,707,000 / per session and classic 2 plan, N3,500,000 / per session.
The report is against the backdrop of dwindling value of naira against other currencies at the foreign exchange market.
The domestic currency market closed at N1,435.53 to a dollar at the close of business on Friday, data from the NAFEM where foreign exchange is officially traded, showed.
This represents an N26.37 gain or a 1.84per cent increase in the local currency compared to the N1,461.90 closed on Thursday.
However, the naira closed flat at the parallel forex market where forex is sold unofficially, the exchange rate quoted at N1,500/$1, a decline of 0.33per cent against N1,495 it closed the previous day, while peer-to-peer traders quoted around N1432.40/$1.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been actively addressing issues of foreign currency speculation and hoarding by Nigerian banks.
A new circular introduced guidelines aimed at reducing the risks associated with these practices, noting that some commercial banks hold long-term positions in forex with the hope of profiting from currency depreciation.
The Governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Yemi Cardoso, also recently stated that the naira is undervalued and promised to work towards real price discovery in the foreign exchange market in 2024.
The CBN plans to implement inflation-taming policies and collaborate with the Ministry of Finance to stabilize the exchange rate and curb inflation.