By the late 1970s Nigeria had enjoyed two decades of economic prosperity and wealth, with many young Nigerians travelling to the West for education. By 1979 some 170,000 Nigerian students were undertaking programmes of study in UK schools and colleges, with a smaller number completing degrees at UK universities.
The problem for many of the students, however, was that the UK university sector was unable to meet the demand for course places, which led to the growth of private sector business schools. These schools had one problem, and this was the lack of availability of courses and professional qualifications which they could offer the new – and ever growing – overseas student market. This need was quickly filled by the professional bodies whose programmes of study in areas such as Law, Accounting, Business Studies, Marketing, Training, Personnel and HR Management provided young Nigerians with the wide range of skills needed by employers.
By 1979, around 4,500 Nigerian students were undertaking ICM business and management programmes in the UK. This number continued to grow until the middle of the 1980s when global economic problems reduced the value of the naira, and the number of all Nigerian students in the UK fell dramatically.
Fortunately, before the economic problems struck, large numbers of ICM graduates were able to commence degrees in the UK on completion of their ICM studies. The qualifications they took home with them enhanced their career prospects in a wide range of industries.
Today ICM courses are offered in teaching centres in Nigeria, meaning Nigerians can study towards their professional qualifications without having to travel abroad. In August 2013 Oladapo Babajide resigned from his role at Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc (a member of Standard Bank Group of South Africa) to join ICM as the country-coordinator for Nigeria. Here he offers us an insight into the work ICM is currently doing in Nigeria and his hopes for the future…
The world is gradually becoming a global village; employers today want to hire personnel with globally recognised qualifications – and ICM offers just this.
We provide courses in 130 countries, including the United Kingdom. Currently we have 6 approved ICM teaching centres in Nigeria, and others in various stages of approval. Our aim is to have ICM tuition centres in all the major cities in Nigeria, so that we can make it possible for all Nigerians to have access to ICM’s business, management and commercial qualifications, which we offer from certificate levels to post-graduate diploma level (PGD).
Apart from the key advantages of globally recognised qualifications, ICM is a charitable education provider, meaning students incur lower fees than other alternatives. A large percentage of youths who have not been able to gain admission into universities over the years in Nigeria are now benefiting from studying with ICM. This is similar to the trend happening in Ghana, Kenya, and many other developing countries; and also in the United Kingdom.
We have seen many successful ICM alumni in Nigeria, including Ambassador Ayuba Jacob Ngbako, Former Nigerian Ambassador to The Gambia and three-time deputy mayor of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). He is highly placed dignitary in Nigeria, and there is no reason why the average person can’t study with ICM too. Many still complain of being denied admission into Nigerian universities while ICM now makes it possible for you to have the same qualification as other students around the world.
My advice to prospective ICM students in Nigeria, and across the world, is make sure you do not limit yourself; take advantages of the opportunities ICM offers to take a step up in life. After all, things are really happening in Nigeria; it’s the commercial hub of West Africa. It takes hard work; attending lectures, studying ahead of the examination period and self-confidence, but it’s worth it. Students in other countries are embracing the opportunity, and I want students in Nigeria to continue to do so; multinational companies respect ICM qualifications, alongside other UK and American certificates.
To find out which ICM teaching centre is nearest to you click here.