Forex: Many Nigerian students abroad to repeat 2023/2024 session, returning home



The biting forex scarcity is leaving bitter pills in the mouths of Nigerians, especially students in foreign schools, who need it to pay for tuition and sundry levies. At the moment, many in foreign schools are facing serious academic challenges on this premise.

Saturday Times gathered that the schools are regrettably advising them to dropout or repeat one academic session as they are unable to meet up with their fees in a timely fashion.

Those said to be mostly affected are civil servants whose children are studying abroad and are finding it hard to get dollars to remit to their children.

Nigerian students in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East are said to be the worst hit with the development.

It was gathered that the dollar scarcity has forced some civil servants to go their banks and organization’s cooperatives to seek for loan to meet up with the academic demands of their wards in foreign countries.

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“Most of the students have dropped one academic year due to non-compliance with their school policies on school tuition fees’ payment. Some government workers are battling to meet up as the crash of naira has affected the school fees of their children in abroad. Nigerian civil servants who are training their children abroad are really struggling to meet up with tuition fees which have been affected by the dollar rate in the foreign exchange market”, a source told our correspondent.

It was gathered that some of these children are in pains and are groaning as feeding over there has also become difficult.

According to sources, some of these Nigerian students are now begging money to get by on daily basis.

Investigations showed that before the crash of naira, they were paying N400 to one US dollar, but with the current rate, school fees abroad shot up astronomically, forcing some of the parents to pay as high as N16 million, an amount most parent within the middle class are finding it difficult to cope with.

Our source said some students abroad have taken over menial jobs to augment what their parents are providing and most of them are managing to pay for their bills while feeding.

According to our investigation, some students pay as high as $17,000 for tuition in the US, and for that to be done, parents need to buy dollar around N1, 500.

Some civil servants are struggling to pay as high as N25 to N30 million for school fees and accommodation for their wards.

It would be recalled that last year, June to be precise, the Nigerian government removed the rate cap in its official foreign exchange market, allowing market forces to determine the actual value of the naira.

This led to the devaluation of the naira. In July 2023 (about a month after the move), the national currency fell from 471/dollar to 750/dollar and 589.4/pound to 957.2/pound. As of January 24, the currency had further plunged to 887/dollar and 1133/pound. And as of the time of going to press, it stood at N1,500, at the close of market on Friday, February 16, 2024.

Last November, a data from the new Open Doors Report, published by the Washington-based Institute of International Education (IIE), said Nigeria is the only African country among the top ten with the highest number of students in the United States.

The report, explained that the number of Nigerians studying in the United States of America rose by 22.2 percent within one year despite the foreign exchange crisis.

It also maintained that enrolment from Nigeria increased to 17,640 in the 2022/23 academic year from 14,438 in the previous year.

It said the US hosted 1.06 million international students during the academic year, a 12 per cent increase compared to the previous academic year.

The list then said China had 27 per cent (289,526), India 25 percent (268,928), South Korea 4 per cent (43,847), Canada 3 per cent (27,876), and Nigeria 2 per cent.

Others are Brazil per cent, Saudi Arabia per cent, Taiwan percent, Japan per cent and Vietnam 2 per cent.

With the current exchange realities, many Nigerian parents are withdrawing their wards as the school fees over there are no longer within their reach.

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