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Foreign Education Expenses Decreases

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CEM REPORT, EDUCATION | Despite the high flux on the “Japa” train Nigeria recorded a decrease in foreign education expenses between January and September 2022.

The total sum of $1.38 billion was spent by Nigerians on foreign education expenses in the review period

This is a decrease of $502.6 million when compared to the $1.88 billion spent between January and September of the previous year.


Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reveals that this is the lowest level since 2016.

As Nigeria continues to find means to defend the naira and make FX more available transactions such as foreign education expenses are recorded as debit transactions for Nigeria’s balance of payment.

According to the CBN, Nigeria recorded a current account deficit of $603.14 million in Q3 2022 and a deficit of $1 billion in the nine months, as a result of excess outflows compared to inflows.

This implies that Nigeria transferred more FX to other countries in the review period compared to the forex value received, which consequently affects the number of funds in the external reserves and by extension the country’s exchange rate.

While Nigerians spend as much as they can on foreign education, Nigerian universities on the other hand are yet to receive any form of inflows from any foreign students.

Nigeria has recorded a huge flux of migration to other countries in recent times, mostly through the education route. This is particularly because education has proven to be one of the easiest ways to receive visas from European countries, especially the United Kingdom.

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Nigerians who want to relocate abroad now apply for admission to foreign universities and upon admission, apply for study visas, which allow them to work and school in the host country during the cause of their study.

Foreign expenses in form of education, and health, amongst others, are registered under personal travel allowances (PTA).

It is worth noting that while the data from the CBN shows decreased spending on foreign education through the official PTA allocations in 2022, FX accessed from the parallel market or other sources may not be captured, which could suggest that the numbers are understated.

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