On 30th June 2017, a former Minister of Youth Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi said at a summit of the Nigerian Union of Teachers in Ilorin that Nigerian students spend N300bn annually on tertiary education in Ghana.
In May 2014, University World News, an online newspaper reported, in a statement credited to the former Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi at a public lecture, that there are about 71,000 Nigerian students in Ghana paying about US$1billion annually as tuition fees and upkeep. It went on to adjust the number to about 75,000 based on other unquoted sources.
How many Nigerian Students are in Ghanaian Universities?
The National Accreditation Board of Ghana (NAB) reported in 2015 that there were 2,091 Nigerian students in Public Universities and 5,284 in Private Universities, bringing the total to 7,375 Nigerians enrolled in Ghanaian Universities in the 2012/2013 Academic Session.
Source: NATIONAL ACCREDITATION BOARD, TERTIARY EDUCATION STATISTICS REPORT, COMPOSITE STATISTICAL REPORT ON ALL CATEGORIES OF TERTIARY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN GHANA FOR THE 2012/2013 ACADEMIC YEAR (Page 32)
Source: NATIONAL ACCREDITATION BOARD, TERTIARY EDUCATION STATISTICS REPORT, COMPOSITE STATISTICAL REPORT ON ALL CATEGORIES OF TERTIARY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN GHANA FOR THE 2012/2013 ACADEMIC YEAR (Page 33)
The UNESCO institute for Statistics reported in 2016 that there are 13,919 Nigerian students in Ghanaian Universities.
How much do the Nigerian Students in Ghanaian Universities spend?
International students are reported to pay between US$2,500 and US$3,500 in tuition fee per semester in Ghanaian Universities.
In 2015, Times Higher Education’s (THE) World University Rankings and travel money company FAIRFX compiled a list of most expensive countries to be a student, based on average annual tuition fees and living cost. Australia was the most expensive country to be a student with an average of £27,277 in average annual cost.
If we assume that Ghana is as expensive as Australia, and that all Nigerian students in Ghana (13,919 according to UNESCO) pay the maximum of £27,277 in tuition and living expense annually, that would bring us to about N179.46billion per annum, at an exchange rate of N472.68. This is less than the claimed N300billion.
13,919 X £27,277 X 472.68 = 179,461,736,358.84
(Note: Although the Official exchange rate as at the date of this report was N395.5934, Fidelity Bank quoted N468.18 on the same date. We simply added a 1% commission to the quote by Fidelity bank to arrive at the exchange rate of N472.68 used in our calculations.)
The claims by Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi and Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi are inconsistent with reports from the Accreditation Board of Ghana, the Ghanaian Ministry of Education, and UNESCO.
Using the stated enrolment numbers and the cost of living in Australia, the exchange rate must be as high as N790.1628 to one Pound Sterling to bring the total amount spent by all Nigerian students in Ghana to N300billion per annum.
(Limitations: This analysis is subject to the accuracy of the estimated cost of living published by FAIRFX.)
Therefore, the claim by Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi that Nigerian students spend N300billion annually in tertiary institutions is Ghana is false.