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Emefiele berates FX requests for secondary students studying abroad

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor Godwin Emefiele has berated Nigerian parents seeking foreign exchange to pay fees for their kids in secondary schools abroad.

The apex bank governor who admitted that standard of education has dropped in the country, said he does not have problems with parents who could afford foreign exchange on their own.


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Emefiele called for huge investments in the education sector in order to raise standards.

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Speaking on Arise Television on Tuesday Emefiele said his heart bleeds over the current state of the country’s educational system.

“I went to primary school in Nigeria, I did my secondary school in Nigeria, I did my university education in Nigeria and indeed people were coming from other parts of the world to attend universities in Nigeria.

“I ask myself what has happened that we would now begin to think of our children going to secondary school abroad?

“This is not a popularity contest, it is the fact that if you can afford it, good for you. But I wish I had the opportunity, and I think what we should be doing is to improve the level of educational standards so that people can go to secondary school in Nigeria.”

Recall that the CBN through the deposit money banks supports foreign exchange access for legitimate needs by the end-users.

Such legitimate needs include Business Travel Allowance (BTA), Personal Travel Allowance (PTA), school fees and medicals.

It would be noted that the CBN had emphasised that the PTA would only be for students of tertiary educational institutions.

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Emefiele in the interview was however silent on concerns that some parents go through the backdoor to access PTA for secondary education abroad for their wards.

Nigeria has been battling with foreign exchange concerns and has stopped Bureau de Change operations in other to manage the exchange rate.

The apex bank currently works with the deposit money banks to grant access to legitimate foreign exchange end-users.

Emefiele said efforts must be intensified to improve Nigeria’s education system rather than resorting to lending forex for payment of school fees abroad.

He added that the CBN intends to complete some key legacy projects before the end of the current administration.

“Our establishment infrastructure investments funds and our international financial centers are key projects that would be delivered before we exit in 2023.”

He disclosed that the apex bank is working with relevant stakeholders to stop oil dependence and risks associated with the volatility of global markets.

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“Nigeria is a country with immense opportunities in the creative industry, manufacturing and technology. It is a country with immense opportunities and given the fact that the population is growing, this is the best time to stop reliance on oil and we must diversify the economy to non-oil and deepen our economy to become self-sufficient through import substitution industrialisation. I pray that this happens in our lifetime.” Emefiele said.

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