Wigwe University: Supporting Nigeria’s Drive for Improved Foreign Currency Inflows

Wigwe University: Supporting Nigeria’s Drive for Improved Foreign Currency Inflows

Donatus Eleko

One major challenge that has been confronting the Nigerian economy is the shortage of foreign exchange (FX) inflows. This has contributed significantly to the free fall of the naira exchange rate seen in recent, even as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has initiated reforms to strengthen the local currency.

The development once more saw commentators preach against the seeming dollarisation, with some advising organisations and institutions operating in Nigeria that do charge foreign currencies for their transactions to desist from such.

Owing to this, the Wigwe University which released unveiled its prospectus and fees, has explained the reason why some components of its tuition fees are charged in dollars. Contrary to insinuations, the Wigwe University has been positioned to support Nigeria’s quest to improve its FX inflows.

In explaining the rationale behind the structure of its tuition fees, Wigwe University stressed that its home students would pay their fees in naira, explaining that its decision for select dollar payment was a strategic one which aligns with its vision to attract a diverse and international student body.

In a statement issued by the institution, Wigwe University noted that it respects the concerns raised by some members of the public, and was obliged to clear the air on the matter.

“The decision to list our fees in dollar is a strategic one, aligning with our vision to attract a diverse and international student body. By utilising dollar, a universally accepted currency, we aim to provide clarity and transparency for our prospective students from around the world. We want to assure our home students that they will pay their tuition fees in Naira.

“As a hub for intellectual growth, we are not just building individuals, but contributing significantly to the economic development and growth of Nigeria and Africa at large. The presence of international students at Wigwe University has a positive ripple effect on the local economy,” it stated.

Furthermore, it explained that, “The exposure to the rich cultural and entrepreneurial landscape of Nigeria creates a potential avenue for future investments and business collaborations. “Furthermore, the influx of international students will boost our local economy by bringing in dollar, this positive impact will gradually reduce capital flight from our economy.”

The Wigwe University is dedicated to fostering a global learning environment with a focus on excellence, innovation, and inclusivity. The institution is commitment to providing a world class education is reflected in its distinguished faculty, with over 35 per cent hailing from prestigious international institutions.

In addition, Wigwe University’s state-of-the-art infrastructure rivals the best institutions globally, with its campus equipped with modern facilities, smart classrooms, cutting edge laboratories and comprehensive research centres.

The founder of the university, Herbert Wigwe, is a respected banker who spared no expense in creating an environment that nurtures creativity, collaboration and critical thinking among its students and the entire design of the institution is intentional, to nurture fearless leaders that will one day transform Africa.

“We respect the concerns raised by some members of the public, and we are obliged to clarify this subject. Wigwe University operates with the utmost respect for national regulations and guidelines.

“Wigwe University views education as a powerful tool for societal transformation. In seeking the best international faculty, we must also prioritise our Nigerian faculty ensuring appropriate and competitive remuneration packages.

“We are not only enriching academic experience within our institution but also contributing to the larger narrative of nation-building,” it added.

Wigwe University is providing excellent infrastructure with a readiness to provide an Ivy-League education, spending at least $500 million to set up the institution.

On June 9, 2023, the National Universities Commission approved and issued an operational licence to Wigwe University in Isiokpo, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The Wigwe University embodies Nigeria’s resilience, fearless culture, values, and entrepreneurial spirit. The university believes that the world and Africa, especially, need problem solvers, torchbearers and game-changers who would form part of its learning community to create sustainable solutions for the world. It would have the most conducive environment to do this and to attain their highest potential.

The university’s curricula include management, science, engineering, information technology, and creative arts disciplines. To realise its ambitions, the institution anticipates requiring up to $500 million for scaling within a five-year timeframe.

To bridge the gap in manpower, Wigwe plans to recruit 30 per cent of the teaching staff from the UK and the US. Wigwe would play an active role in teaching and mentoring, engaging prominent entrepreneurs like billionaire Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man. The university aims to enroll 1,400 students in its inaugural year, with a projected increase to 10,000 within the next five years.

Wigwe had emphasised the transformative impact of education, asserting that it goes beyond financial considerations, influencing individuals and nations alike.

To Wigwe, education is expected to make one fearless. It should help students remain focused, unwavering, and fixed firmly on the exhilaration of victory rather than the fear of defeat. He said this was why Wigwe University is focused on delivering education, cultivating Africa’s bold and fearless generation of leaders, innovative thinkers and entrepreneurial sons and daughters. Wigwe University is a beacon of knowledge that would guide the African youth through the realms of academia and profound lessons of existence.

According to Wigwe, the university aims to shape its students into embodiments of fearlessness with mentorship and guidance “so that one day, they shall proudly declare – we are fearless.”

“I cannot change the world overnight. But if I can empower even one youth today, tomorrow, they could join me in empowering others. With time, we could change the world. The truth is that the end to the good we can achieve is nowhere in sight. There’s so much more to conquer. There are more lives to impact and generations to uplift to achieve their full potential,” the Wigwe University founder said recently.

He added, “History will favour the brave, those who knew their limitations only because they had to defy them. History will favour the fearless. We are the African spirit of strength in numbers, teamwork, and collaboration. We symbolise and express the irrepressible human spirit of design thinking. We strive for sustainability and a shared prosperous future for all.”

In a recent statement, the University stated: “We believe in a balanced, sustainable lifestyle. From time outdoors to working as a sports team to fostering strong understanding and relationships between peers – our sports and societies offer something for everyone to get involved in.

“All our programmes are delivered to an international standard in collaboration with key international partners. Our approach puts us in touch with world-leading curricula, joint research and international exchanges and internship programmes.”

Also speaking at an Education Fair organised by the institution in Port Harcourt, with the theme “Rewire: Rooted in Africa, Impacting the World,” recently, Wigwe, who is the Chancellor of the university, applauded the Nigerian educational sector for training brilliant and strong minds, citing himself as a beneficiary.

He, however, noted that Nigerian universities have, over time, declined due to inadequate attention paid to key aspects of their development.

Wigwe emphasised the need for courage and fearlessness in addressing Nigeria’s academic challenges as opposed to running away from them.

Addressing the prevalent brain drain in Nigeria, the Chancellor emphasised that the Wigwe University’s had resolved to tackle challenges within the education system.

He added that leveraging state-of-the-art technology, innovation and leapfrogging, the university would propel itself to the forefront of global education, offering an alternative that rivals international standards.

The Chancellor said the education fair echoed the university’s commitment to not only celebrate its African roots but also make a global impact.

“This is to the end that the prevalent ‘Japa’ movement might lose its allure as Wigwe University strives to become a beacon for those seeking world-class education on home soil.

“Breaking away from convention, Wigwe University ensured that the fair was not merely a platform for university promotion but a space for meaningful interaction.”

The fair also featured engaging question-and-answer sessions, providing attendees with the opportunity to delve deeper into the university’s vision, policies, and the broader landscape of higher education in Nigeria”, he added.

Already, Prof. Miles Davis has already been appointed as the Vice-Chancellor. Davis has a PhD in human and organisational sciences from George Washington University, an MA in Human Resource Development from Bowie State University and a BA in Communications from Duquesne University. He was the inaugural chair of the Management Science Department at the Harry F. Byrd Jr. School of Business at Shenandoah University. He became the founding director of its Institute for Entrepreneurship, and later, Davis became the dean of the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business.

Another personality to keep the institution running is Prof. Nelson Uzoechi-Uzoma Alino, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration/Dean College of Management and Social Science). Before joining Wigwe University, Alino held the esteemed position of William S. Perlroth, Professor of Accounting and Taxation at Quinnipiac University.

Therefore, the founder and management of the Wigwe University should be given all the support to succeed so as to position the Nigerian economy for improved FX inflows.

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