Foreign education gulped $695m in nine months — CBN

Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria revealed that $695.85m was released for educational purposes between January and September 2022.

The figure which was released on January 22, 2023, did not include the forex obtained from the black market.

The figure was contained in the data obtained from the apex bank, calculated based on the information provided on the amount spent on educational services under the sectoral utilisation for transactions valid for foreign exchange.

In January 2022, the apex bank noted that “$60,202,730.84 was spent on foreign education”, while noting that “$69.9m was spent in February 2022.”

In March 2022, there was a significant increase as the bank stated that $87.26m was spent.

In April, there was a little reduction as a total of $78.62m was recorded by the apex bank.

The figure for May 2022 was put at $82.70m.

In June 2022, the apex bank released $84.90m, while $61.99m was released in July 2022.

A slight increase was recorded in August 2022 when $84.01m was released.

In September 2022, $86.34m was released for the same purpose.

The PUNCH reports that Nigerians have continued to troop out in their numbers in pursuit of foreign academic qualifications.

Recent data released by the Home Office of the United Kingdom revealed that the number of study visas released to Nigerians increased by 222.8 per cent, with 65,929 issued as of June 2022 as against 20,427 during the same period in 2021.

The PUNCH reports that education in Nigeria, especially in the tertiary educational sector, has been marred by industrial actions by tertiary institution-based unions such as the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics and the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union.

The data from the CBN revealed that Nigerians remitted more than $695.84m to foreign academic institutions in nine months without significant reciprocity in form of inflows from foreign sources to the local educational sector.

The PUNCH reports that the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation observed that about 76,338 Nigerians were studying abroad as of 2018, the highest from an African country.

A Professor of Education at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof Alabi Thomas, in an interview with our correspondent blamed the migration on government policies which, according to him, have continued to cripple the education sector.

Thomas also urged the incoming government to ensure that the sector is adequately catered to.


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