Nigerian under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration spent $3.5bn on foreign education, says a report by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

A statistical data report sighted on the official website of the apex bank on Sunday, November 13, showed how an outrageous amount was spent on foreign education since the incumbent leadership took over the government in 2015 to the present year.

Based on the CBN’s balance of payment statistics, the reported figure is the cumulative funds for the past seven years (June 2015 to August 2022).

The data revealed further the amount spent on educational services under the sectoral utilisation for transactions valid for foreign exchange. It noted that a sum of $375.99 million was released by the apex bank between June 2015 and December 2015.

A dig further revealed that a total of $269.1 million was released in 2016 for the same purpose while there was a huge leap in 2017 when the apex bank disclosed that a total of $514.16 was released for foreign education.

For 2019, there was a huge decrease as the bank released $197.52 million. It was also noted that $270.42 million was released in 2020 amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

There was a huge leap in 2021 as the bank recorded a total of $720.05 million released for the r same purpose. For the year 2022, only the data from January to August is made available on the bank’s website, revealing a total of $609.5 million spent on foreign currency.

The data also revealed that Nigerians remitted more than $3.5 billion to foreign academic institutions under Buhari without significant reciprocity in the form of inflows from foreign sources to the local education sector.

The huge net dollar outflows have dual adverse effects of underinvestment in domestic education creating pressure on the naira exchange rate, economists said.

The high demand for dollars to pay foreign educational institutions affects Nigeria’s foreign reserves and contributes immensely to piling pressure on the exchange rate.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s educational system, most especially the tertiary education sector, has suffered a series of setbacks from industrial actions by unions such as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP)

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