Monday, March 7, 2016

Buhari bans forex to Nigerians schooling abroad

President Muhammadu Buhari has finally declared that the country cannot afford to allocate foreign exchange to Nigerians who are schooling or hope to school abroad.

At the presidential media chat in December 2015, the president had said he was going to work with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to allocate a particular amount of foreign exchange for Nigerians schooling abroad.

In February, the bankers committee, after a meeting in Abuja, hinted that it would soon stop the allocation of foreign exchange for medical and schooling fees abroad. But in another clarification in February, the CBN said it had not banned the allocation of foreign exchange for education and medical bills.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) wishes to clarify to the general public that it has NOT stopped the allocation and sale of Foreign Exchange for purposes of paying school fees and settlement of medical bills overseas,” Ibrahim Mu’azu, the bank’s director of corporate communications, said. In an interview with Al Jazeera, the president opposed the CBN and made it clear that it will, henceforth, be “tough luck” for those who are or wish to school abroad.

“Those who can afford foreign education for their children can go ahead but Nigeria cannot afford to allocate foreign exchange for those who decided to train their children outside the country,” he said. “We can’t just afford it. That is just the true situation,” the president said, contrary to CBN’s decision.

The president also said those who were making means via rent seeking of the dollar would be pursued and punished. “Anybody who is given dollars by the CBN to import pharmaceuticals and decided to go and sell at parallel market in order to make maybe additional N100, we will pursue them and punish them,” he said. Sanusi Muhammad II, emir of Kano and former CBN governor, believes the foreign exchange regime by Buhari encourages corruption.

Source: The Cable

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