Top-ranking education officials from Sokoto State in Nigeria have paid a two-day visit to Wisconsin to assess the university’s credentials and facilities.
The delegation comprised the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Higher Education, Sokoto State Hon. Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed; the Commissioner of Higher Education, Sokoto State, Hon. Alhaji Sahabi Isa Gada; and the Director General Sokoto Scholarship Board, Alhaji Hassan Maccido.
The officials, Hon. Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed, Hon. Alhaji Sahabi Isa Gada and Alhaji Hassan Maccido, visited at the invitation of the Chancellor, Rev. Dr. Paul K. Fynn, to assess the university’s credentials and facilities.
During their visit, the dignitaries interacted with the Chairman of the University Council, Justice Isaac Duose, Acting Vice Chancellor, Dr Carlos Arrow and Registrar, Mr Frank Yeboah, as well as Deans, Heads of Department and senior administrative staff of the university before taking a tour of the campus and hostel facilities.
Final-year Business Studies student Blessing Ekanem from Nigeria shared suggestions with the officials on how the Nigerian government could enhance the experience of students studying in Ghana.
Ekanem, who is the former Nigerian Students Association president at Wisconsin, raised concerns about how tight controls on the remittance of funds from Nigeria and the high dollar-to-naira exchange rate had led to a decline in the number of students studying abroad, and caused many to drop out or put their studies on hold.
The Permanent Secretary Hon. Abubakar said: “We hope that this will be the beginning of a close relationship. We would wish not only for our students to come to study here, but also that an exchange opportunity can exist for lecturers from Wisconsin and from Sokoto to share knowledge.”
Hon. Abubakar said he was confident that the financial situation in Nigeria would soon improve, to allow for ‘business as usual’ to resume.
Nigerians comprise about a third of the student population at Wisconsin – making up the highest number of international students.