African Reserves

Nigerians spend $221m on overseas education in three months – CBN report

An analysis of data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria showed that Nigerians spent at least $220.86 million on overseas education between December 2021 and February 2022.

This is according to CBN data on the amount spent on educational services under sectoral use for transactions valid for currencies from December 2021 to February 2022.

In December 2021, the apex bank said it had spent $90.67 million on overseas education.

The CBN also noted that in January 2022, a total of $60,202,730.84 was spent on overseas education, while noting that $69.9 million was spent in February 2022.

Although the bank did not update the amount spent in March, April and May, it noted that the amount it reported in December 2021 and January 2022 may be subject to change in the future.

the punch reports that education in Nigeria, particularly in the higher education sector, has been marred primarily by industrial action by unions in higher education institutions such as the Union of Academic Staff of Universities and the Union academic staff of polytechnics.

Currently, academic activities in Nigerian universities and polytechnics are grounded in matters of teacher welfare.

While ASUU has been on strike for nearly three months, polytechnic teachers have just begun a two-week warning strike.

Data from the apex bank revealed that Nigerians paid over $220 million to foreign academic institutions in three months without significant reciprocity in the form of inflows from foreign sources to the local education sector.

The huge net dollar outflows have a double negative effect of underinvestment in national education and pressure on the naira exchange rate.

The high demand for dollars to pay foreign educational institutions is affecting Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves and increasing pressure on the exchange rate.

The PUNCH reports that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization observed that around 76,338 Nigerians were studying abroad in 2018, the highest of any African country, as the government does not still failed to allocate sufficient funds to the country’s education sector.

Speaking to our correspondent, the national president of the Union of Academic Staff of Polytechnics, Dr Anderson Ezeibe, said that the government’s failure to invest adequately in the education sector had had a negative impact on the education sector.

“You go to higher education institutions and you see dilapidated buildings, the professors and the students are not happy, the students do not have access to good equipment for practical work, in the end, the system continues to produce half-baked graduates.

“The only solution to this is for the government to fully invest in the sector. If we operate world-class schools in the country, people will not need to go to other countries to get a good education.

Similarly, reform education sector manager, Olubunmi olusanmi, told The PUNCH that there is an urgent need for the government to rapidly increase investment in the education sector.

“Education is the bedrock of any nation, you can’t neglect this sector and say you want to focus on infrastructure. Nigerians go to other countries to avoid some of the dramas that are happening in our local schools Talks about strikes have been annual celebrations and we all took it for granted.

“We can’t go on like this. The truth is that many people who have the resources or who can struggle to get the resources will continue to go out and get a better quality education. The government needs to do better.”

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