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Access Bank owner allegedly violates Nigerian law as privately owned university charges US dollars

Nigerians are expressing strong criticism over the alleged violation of Nigerian law by Hubert Wigwe, the owner of Access Bank, who reportedly charges tuition fees in dollars at his newly established private university, Wigwe University, located in Isiokpo, Rivers State, Nigeria.

Under Nigerian law, it is considered illegal for service providers, including school proprietors, to demand fees in dollars.

The Central Bank of Nigeria Act of 2007 explicitly states that the currency notes issued by the bank are the legal tender in Nigeria for any payment.

The law prescribes penalties, including fines or imprisonment, for individuals or entities found guilty of contravening this provision.

Despite these regulations, Wigwe University’s 2024/2025 fees, as seen on its official website, reveal varying amounts in dollars for different colleges and additional charges in Naira.

For instance, the College of Arts students are expected to pay $12,000 annually as tuition fees, while the College of Engineering, College of Management and Social Sciences, and College of Science and Computing charge $15,000 each.

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.

In response to the public outcry, the management of Wigwe University defended its decision, stating that the choice of selective dollar tuition fees is a strategic move aligned with the institution’s vision to attract a diverse and international student body.

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