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Nigerian students in UK turn to charity home amid weakened naira - THE CABLE

JUNE 03, 2024

Nigerian students hit by a depreciating currency back home are flocking to a food charity in the UK for succour.

Debbie Fixter, manager of Thornaby’s Sprouts Community Food Charity (SCFC) told the BBC over the weekend that the majority of the organisation’s clients are Nigerians struggling to afford tuition fees.

SCFC organises a range of activities and offers food for free or at a low cost, along with clothes and household items.

Some of the students at Teesside University have been disengaged from their studies and ordered to return home.

Inflation in Nigeria has galloped out of control, amid a depreciating currency and reduced purchasing power for the average citizen.

Boluwatife Elusakin said he has had to “dive deep” to afford the cost of living and studying in the UK.

“Things are no longer the same,” he told BBC.

“I’ve had to cut costs because of the currency crash, it hit my savings as I’d already budgeted funds to come here.

“It makes me feel sad, but I hope I can endure just one year and all will be well.”

Another student, who did not want to be named, said the university’s new payment plans — from seven installments to three — has worsened the situation.

He said students who juggled several jobs to pay for their tuition, are now limited by the amount of hours they are legally allowed to work.

“When I was applying, the exchange rate was around 600 naira per pound, but by the time I arrived, it was 1,400,” he said.

Fixter said the university has so far been proactive and offered a welcome £500 donation of Sainsbury’s vouchers after being informed of the situation.

However, she called the amount a “drop in the ocean” in terms of what was needed to support the influx of students to the charity.

Last week, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) said the federal government had picked a delegation to visit the management of Teesside University.

NiDCOM said the visit would help intervene on allegations of unfair and unjust deportation.


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