Nigerian students seeking admission to foreign universities expended a total of $340.84 million on application fees between January and June 2023, as revealed by data from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The funds were used to finance educational services related to foreign exchange transactions.
The figures indicate varying expenditures each month. In April, an amount of $40.54 million was spent on foreign education, followed by $48.81 million in May.
However, June witnessed a noticeable decrease, with $32.61 million spent.
Comparing this data with the first quarter of 2023, which saw an expenditure of $218.88 million, reveals a decrease of $96.92 million or 44.28%.
Moreover, the figures demonstrate a 50.5% decline in performance compared to the second quarter of 2022.
The report suggests that despite the substantial amounts remitted to foreign academic institutions, there has been a lack of significant reciprocity in terms of inflows from foreign sources into the local education sector.
It is believed that the reduced forex supply from the Central Bank has forced students seeking to study abroad to seek dollars through Bureau De Change operators, largely due to delays in banks processing Form A requests.
Recent data from the Home Office of the United Kingdom indicated a 222.8% increase in study visas granted to Nigerians, with 65,929 visas issued as of June 2022, compared to 20,427 during the same period in 2021.
Analysts attribute the dwindling dollar flows to Nigeria to a decline in foreign investments and lower crude oil exports, which comprise over 90% of the country’s export income.
Experts have voiced concerns over the underinvestment in Nigeria’s education sector, leading to dilapidated institutions, inadequately equipped facilities, and the migration of students to other countries for better education opportunities.
They call for comprehensive government investment in education to reverse this trend.