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Banks release $533.48m for foreign education

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The amount released for foreign education by banks through the Central Bank of Nigeria has hit $533.48m.

The figure which was obtained from the latest statistical bulletin published by the apex bank was a cumulative addition of the amounts released between October 2022 and March 2023.

Experts however predict that the amount for the second quarter of 2023 sparring between April to June 2023 might be higher given the recent unification of the exchange rate by the CBN.

Prior to the unification, there had been a huge gap between the exchange rate at the black market and the official rate.

The japa wave has also continued to put huge pressure on the naira as migrating students have been forced to source dollars from Bureau De Change operators owing to delays by banks to process respective Form A.

According to the CBN data, the sum of $96.19m was released in October 2022. There was an increase in November 2022 when a total of $125.29m was released for the same purpose.In December 2022, the CBN noted that a sum of $93.12m was released. Further breakdown revealed that in January 2023, the sum of $91.45m was released for educational purposes.

In February 2023, there was a slight decrease in amount as only $74.03M was released. There was a slight decrease from that in March 2023 as the CBN revealed that only $53.40M was released.

Saturday 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.

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.