Annual UK-study expenses hits $2.5bn amid forex scarcity

Annual UK-study expenses hits $2.5bn amid forex scarcity

The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has said annual foreign exchange outflow on study-related to the UK has hit to about $2.5bn as visa applications increased.

He also said the official foreign exchange receipt from crude oil sales into the official reserves of the country had dried up, but that the CBN had introduced measures to boost forex earnings through non-oil export which was already yeilding results.

Emefiele spoke at the 57th annual bankers dinner of the Charted Institute of Bankers of Nigeria in Lagos on Friday night.

He said, “As we all know, for example, the official foreign exchange receipt from crude oil sales into our official reserves has dried up steadily from above $3.0bn monthly in 2014 to an absolute zero dollars today.

“To put this drawback into perspective, it is equally no news that the number of student visa issued to Nigerians by the UK alone has increased from an annual average of about 8,000 visas as of 2020 to nearly 66,000 in 2022, which implies an eight-folds surge to about $2.5bn annually in study-related foreign exchange outflow to the UK alone.

“It is against the backdrop of the worsening mismatch between foreign exchange market demand and supply, and the need to boost foreign exchange earnings that the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee initiated the RT200 programme in February 2022.”

He said the programme was fundamentally devised to innovatively tackle the fundamental problem associated with the repatriation of non-oil export proceed.

So far, he said it had recorded and continue to record resounding success with the RT200 Programme.

Inflows through this programme in 2022 rose to about $1.6bn and could surpass $2.5bn by year-end, he said.

The President, CIBN, Ken Opara, speaking on CBN’s developmental efforts said, “During the year, the Central Bank of Nigeria has continued to be purposeful in curtaining economic shocks from the aftermath of the 4th wave of the COVID-19 pandemic to keep inflation tidings and other related economy indices, most especially local currency, from distortions, exacerbated by declining production levels fuelled by the high cost of production, insecurity, dwindling government revenues, foreign exchange volatility and the uncertainty in the global oil market.”

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