Buhari rules out forex for Nigerian students abroad

DAILY TRUST Newspaper- Isiaka Wakili

President Muhammadu Buhari has ruled out foreign exchange for Nigerian students abroad.
Speaking in an interview with Al Jazeera during his recent visit to Qatar, the president said Nigeria could not afford to allocate foreign exchange for those who decided to train their children abroad.
He, however, added that those who could afford to send their children to foreign schools could go ahead.
“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. We can’t just afford it. That is just the true situation”, he said.
Buhari said the federal government would pursue and punish those receiving dollars from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for importation and selling same for profit at the parallel market.
“Anybody who is given dollars by the CBN to import pharmaceuticals and decided to go and sell at the parallel market in order to make maybe an additional N100, we will pursue them and punish them”, he said.
Meanwhile, some financial experts have listed the effects of dollar scarcity and proffered solutions. Mr Wale Abe, the Executive Secretary of Financial Markets Dealers Association (FMDA), told newsmen that the current scarcity of the dollar and depreciation of the naira had lowered productivity in the country.
Abe told NAN in Lagos that the depreciation of the naira at the parallel market had made some Nigerians to be unproductive.
He said the multiplier effects of being unproductive were unemployment, under-employment and among others which had slowed down economic activities in the country.
He, however, said the positive effect of the scarcity of dollar was that it had made Nigerians to redirect their efforts to other areas where foreign exchange were not needed for production.
Abe said that was because those areas were mainly the non-oil sector and which had the potential to change the nation’s over-dependence on crude oil.
Mr Johnson Chukwu, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Cowry Asset Management Ltd. in Lagos, expressed regret that the country had built up high demand for foreign exchange which had been shifted to the parallel market.
Chukwu said the black market had become the ruling market for importation of goods, adding that the country’s potentials were still intact, but the policies had kept investors away.
The President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, advised government to consider strategic partnerships with other stakeholders in the sub sector.


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