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Cardoso blames increase in Nigerian students studying abroad for economic woes

According to Governor Cardoso, the heart of the forex issue lies in the surge of Nigerians seeking education overseas.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Yemi Cardoso is making efforts to address forex issues. [TheWhistlerNewspaper]

Clutching a handout, he detailed the factors contributing to the economic downturn, including the staggering increase in Nigerians pursuing education abroad.

According to Governor Cardoso, the heart of the issue lies in the surge of Nigerians seeking education overseas, which has placed immense pressure on the nation's foreign exchange reserves.

The exchange rate woes, he explained, are a result of two simultaneous occurrences: a decrease in the supply of US dollars coupled with a surge in demand for the currency.

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"The influx of Nigerian students studying abroad has exacerbated the demand for US dollars," Governor Cardoso stated unequivocally.

He backed his claim with data from UNESCO and the World Bank, showcasing a substantial rise in the number of Nigerian students seeking education overseas over the past few decades.

"Between 1998 and 2018, the number of Nigerian students studying abroad skyrocketed from less than 15,000 to over 96,000," Governor Cardoso elaborated. He further highlighted projections indicating that the figure could exceed 100,000 by 2022.

Additionally, statistics from the UK's Higher Education Statistical Agency revealed a significant uptick in Nigerian students enrolling in British universities.

The financial implications are staggering, with Governor Cardoso revealing that between 2010 and 2020, foreign education expenses alone amounted to a staggering $28.65 billion.

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Medical treatment abroad added a further $11 billion to the tally. These expenditures, he emphasised, far surpass the nation's foreign exchange reserves, putting immense strain on the economy.

"Mitigating this substantial demand for foreign exchange could have bolstered the strength of the Naira," Governor Cardoso asserted. He stressed the urgency of addressing the issue to stabilise the economy and safeguard Nigeria's financial future.

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