According to data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN)website, Nigeria’s educational sector saw substantial capital flight under the presidency of Muhammadu Buhari.
Specifically, according to the CBN’s balance of payment figures, Nigerians have spent $3.5 billion on international schooling over the last seven years (June 2015 to August 2022).
Education in Nigeria has been damaged by industrial strikes by unions such as the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, particularly in the tertiary education sector.
Academic activities in Nigerian universities, polytechnics, and institutions of education were recently halted for many months in 2022.
According to CBN statistics acquired from amounts spent on educational services under the sectoral utilisation for transactions qualifying for foreign currency, the top bank issued a total of $375.99 million between June 2015 and December 2015.
According to further data analysis, a total of $269.1 million was issued in 2016.In 2017, the apex bank announced that a total of $514.16 had been disbursed for international schooling.
A total of $546.78 was released in 2018. In 2019, the bank released $197.52 million, a significant decline. In addition, $270.42 million was released in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, the bank recorded a total of $720.05 million granted for the same reason, representing a significant increase.
So far in 2022, only data from January to August has been made accessible, with a total of $609.5 million distributed.
According to data from the apex bank, Nigerians remitted more than $3.5 billion to foreign academic institutions during Buhari’s tenure, with little reciprocity in the form of inflows from foreign sources into the local education sector.
The huge net dollar outflows have dual adverse effects of underinvestment in domestic education and creates 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.