With the current free fall of the Nigerian currency (Naira) against the major foreign currencies (Dollar, Pound, Euro etc.), the Nigerian government under president Muhammadu Buhari has stopped the sales of forex to parents of students studying abroad.
Parents of Nigerian students abroad who just last year obtained dollar at the then official exchange rate of ₦166 are now forced to obtain the dollar at the current parallel/black market rate of over ₦300. What this means is that parents who last year paid about ₦1.6 million for a $10,000 tuition fee abroad will now have to pay about ₦3 million for the same $10,000 tuition fee in foreign Universities/Colleges or withdraw their wards.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, President Buhari while responding to a question on the challenges faced by parents with kids in schools abroad, who are now facing the possibility of having to pull their kids out, simply said “If the country cannot afford it, so be it.”
When probed further by Al Jazeera’s Martine Dennis about his children who obviously will continue their studies abroad, the president said “Those who can afford it, can still afford it. But for those who can’t, Nigeria cannot afford to allocate foreign exchange for those who decided to train their children outside the country. We can’t just afford it.”
“Well, that’s the true situation we are in.”
The federal government is convinced that the high demand for forex by parents of the students studying abroad has contributed to the current free fall of the Nigerian currency.
The president also frowned on those who received foreign exchange from the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) at the official exchange rate but divert same to make more profits.
“Anybody who is given dollars by the CBN to import pharmaceuticals and decides to go and sell at parallel market in order to make, maybe additional N100, we will pursue them and punish them”, the president vowed.