Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria reveals that Nigerians aiming for admissions into foreign universities spent a total of $340.84m funding their applications between January and June 2023. In April 2023, $40.54m was spent on foreign education, followed by $48.81m in May 2023.
However, in June 2023, there was a significant decrease as only $32.61m was spent. This reflects a decrease of $96.92m or 44.28% compared to the first quarter of 2023.
Additionally, there was a performance decline of $124.42m (50.5%) when comparing figures from the second quarter of 2022.
The PUNCH newspaper reported that there was a lack of significant reciprocation in the form of money flowing into the local education sector from foreign sources, despite the money being sent to foreign academic institutions.
Experts suggested that this was due to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not providing enough supply, leading migrating students to rely on Bureau De Change operators for obtaining dollars, as banks were experiencing delays in processing the required Form A.
According to the latest data released by the Home Office of the United Kingdom, the number of study visas issued to Nigerians increased by 222.8% in June 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, with a total of 65,929 visas issued. This data was the most recent released by the commission.
Due to the Central Bank’s accumulation of forex demand on the official market, individuals and businesses are forced to turn to the black market if they require dollars.
However, Nigeria has experienced a decrease in dollar inflows over the past few years. This can be attributed to a decline in investment and a decrease in crude oil exports, which make up over 90% of the country’s export income.
The lack of sufficient government investment in the education sector has had a detrimental effect on it, as stated by Dr. Anderson Ezeibe, the National President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics.
He mentioned that this has resulted in dilapidated buildings in tertiary institutions, dissatisfaction among lecturers and students, a lack of access to proper equipment for practicals, and the production of graduates who are inadequately prepared for the workforce.
According to Professor Alabi Thomas, the government needs to fully invest in the education sector as the only solution to this problem.
He believes that if the country has world-class schools, there would be no need for people to seek education in other countries. Additionally, he blames government policies for causing damage to the education sector, contributing to this migration trend.