Foreign Currency

Educationists hail ban on foreign currency for school fees


The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools and some other educators have said the restriction placed on the use of dollar or any other foreign currency in payment of school fees in Nigerian schools will aid naira stability and encourage financial integrity.

This was against the backdrop of a memo by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which warned Nigerians against the use of foreign currencies for transactions in the country.

The Chairman, EFCC, Mr Ola Olukoyede’s warning was in the latest edition of the agency’s publication called EFCC Alert on Monday.

It read in part, “We have also started securing convictions. Also, on the dollarisation of our economy, invoicing in the dollar, schools that charge Nigerians in dollar, supermarkets that trade in dollar, estate developers that sell their properties in the dollar, hotels that are invoicing in dollar, we are coming after you and we have made arrests in that area.”

National president, NAPPS, Mr Yomi Otubela, added that his school,  Lagooz Schools, Iyana Ipaja,  and other NAPPS Nigeria registered schools, strictly adhered to the use of the Naira for all transactions.

“This commitment aligns with the legal framework of Nigeria, where the Naira is the official currency for business. Therefore, our operations remain unaffected by the recent restrictions imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria/EFCC. Regarding my perspective on the verdict, I support the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to restrict dollar transactions within the country. This action is crucial for stabilising the naira and safeguarding financial integrity. It also demonstrates a commitment to consumer protection and the overall stability of the Nigerian financial system.”

When asked the reason some schools charge in dollars or other foreign currencies, he explained, “As for why some schools opt to charge in dollars, while I cannot speak for them, they may opt to charge in dollars to cater to their expatriate communities or seek stability amidst naira fluctuations.”

Also, Executive Director, The Learning Place, Lekki, Mrs Bolanle Adewole, mentioned that most schools charged in dollars because they had expatriates, saying as the naira began to get more complicated with the exchange rates or devalued with the exchange rates, it had become almost impossible to keep up with the payment of the expatriate teachers.

She said, “I think the root of it is why are we even bringing expatriate teachers into the system? It’s a vicious cycle.

“If one area is affected, then you find that the next is as well. So, yes, it’s mainly to sponsor the foreign teachers.”

She added that her school did not charge in dollars but she used the foreign currency to purchase educational materials abroad.

“For instance, in our school, most of our materials are imported. Even though I do not charge in dollars, I’m already feeling the pinch.

“It is very hard because I have an expatriate head of school and we bring in materials from abroad, we ship them in.

“So, buying materials has been impossible in the past year. And keeping up with the payment of our head teacher also.

“It’s like paying three or times four of what we used to pay her last year in naira. Meanwhile, we’re still earning in naira.”

Adewole suggested that “If the government wants to make a difference, what we should try to promote is the manufacturing industry where they’re able to create furniture and materials that are comparable to what we are shipping in.

I think that’s one industry that should be deeply looked into so that we have a lot of homegrown things and home-developed materials and furniture that we can use.

“The second would be concerning education.

We should also focus on training the team; our teachers, our administrators, and our heads of schools to the standard where they’re able to teach and able to direct and coordinate the organisation’s business without us needing to bring expatriates in.”

An author Datroko Harry, said, “Some Nigerians cherish the “prestige” of sending their children to private schools with especially British or American curriculums. Hence paying tuition in those countries’ currencies may seem posh and make them feel good, though it makes some sense, so foreign students don’t have to fret about exchange conversions.”

A parent, Olabiyi Oladepo, added that the British curriculum or any other foreign curriculum was irrelevant to the Nigerian education system.

“Have you ever heard that Nigerians establish schools in European countries using the Nigerian curriculum?

Our governments and the Federal Ministry of Education need to answer many questions.

Nigerian education with a Nigerian curriculum makes our educational system relevant to Nigerians fixing the Nigerian child into society. British curriculum or any other is irrelevant to Nigeria,” he said.



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