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CBN suspends Forex for School Fees & Medical Bills



The NairaYesterday at the Bankers’ Committee meeting in Abuja, the members – the CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria) and DMBs (deposit money banks) decided to suspend Forex – foreign exchange allocation for medical bills and school fees, as they make up 15% of foreign exchange demands, according to their calculations.

They said Nigerians should make sacrifices that’ll benefit the country, currency and economy in the long run.

Here’s an excerpt of the report from New Telegraph Online

Briefing journalists after the meeting, the Director, Banking Supervision, CBN, Tokunbo Martins, said banks had resolved that most of forex foreign exchange the foreign exchange demands would be granted to developing the real sector.

Martins said that although the decision would be painful, it was a sacrifice Nigerians would have to go through in the short term in order to achieve a long-term development for the economy.

She said:

“You know it is something that affects all of us and I think that the watchword is belt-tightening. It is the pain we may need to go through today, short term, so that there will be long term development in the country whether it is infrastructure, manufacturing etc.

So, the question is how we can prevent or reduce the crowding out of the real sector where there is increase in demand on the invisible.

“So, it is something that CBN is looking at and it is something the Bankers’ Committee is looking at.

If you think about it, the pressure on forex now – from school fees abroad – is significant. At what point should we begin to look inwards?

The pressure on medicals is significant. At what point should we begin to look inwards? As Nigerians, we also need to be patriotic in terms of our sentiments.

We need to think about what do I have to sacrifice today for the long term benefit of our country and the economy?”

On his part, the Managing Director of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, said banks had decided to channel such forex to the real sector because those demands tend to crowd out demands to import raw materials and to support industries.

He said:

“The problem with that is the fact that it tends to crowd out the critical foreign exchange that should be used in the real sector to import raw materials, to support industries, to encourage employment. So, there is a question around how far we are going to allow this to continue. Shouldn’t we redirect these resources towards the real sector as we should?”

Other conclusions made at the meeting were to reduce paper documents needed to open an account and to focus more on the manufacturing industry, get more Nigerians to use banks.

They also discussed the success of the BVN (Bank Verification Number) exercise, which exposes customers who haven’t paid their loans from a bank from getting into more debt by borrowing from other banks.

Source: New Telegraph Online


  1. nena

    February 12, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    So they want to destroy people’s lives? See me see wahala o! Me that is planning to do my masters by September. They shld not try it!

  2. Eee

    February 12, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    So this is what I do not like about this country! How do you expect students to pay their bills or sick people to seek treatment abroad? If we had good schools and up to par healthcare system, this would make sense, but we do not!! This is getting more and more ridiculous by the day. So students abroad should not get their schools fees paid? I just kent!

  3. Eee

    February 12, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    So people should sacrifice their health and education for long term benefit? How about corrupt politicians sacrifice their unnecessary luxury? They keep making life difficult for the common Nigerian and they wonder why people cut corners. Emelifie abi whatever your name is, I hope you will lead by example and not pay school fees for your children abroad and also seek medical treatment internally. This guy has gone bonkers!

  4. Oyinlola

    February 12, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    If this suspension isn’t lifted soon, many of us will have to come to Nigeria to buy foreign currencies on the black market and travel back with cash to pay our school fees. We’ve got so many international students, many of whom get school fees and monthly allowance from Nigeria. First, it was monthly withdrawal limits that was reduced to as low as $300 for some banks, now we can’t pay school fees.
    This is what happens when our leaders don’t plan for the future. When oil prices were as high ad $120 dollars/barrel, the money was national cake. It’s at $30 dollars and we are suffering like this,I’m scared of what’s going to happen if predictions that it would go as low as $10-15 before the end of this year.

  5. Johnny

    February 12, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    They cant handle ordinary Budget, how are we to trust this decision?.. we sure are getting closer to standing in line to buy bread and butter… (1984)

  6. Brwonsugar

    February 12, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Bunch of rubbish!!! I was going through the papers yesterday, next thing I saw was CBN’s customised invites for armed rubbers to rub fellow Nigerians…..
    Some banks had published (according to CBN directive) the names of individuals who applied for school fee/PTA/BTA including the amount that was purchased. Its complete invasion of privacy!
    Imagine if after seeing someone’s name some rubbers decide to block the person and collect all his hard earned sweat and blood!!! Ha!!! CBN Governor stop sleeping! Even if it was a directive from the Federal Govt, don’t you have some wit to advice them otherwise. This policy does more harm than good!!!!

    • lagos is my home

      February 12, 2016 at 5:39 pm

      THEY been doing that for ages. ..publishing the list. That been said Nigeria is just finished, the suffering continues

    • D

      February 13, 2016 at 8:33 am

      Nothing new there… that data has been released to the public by CBN for a very long time, well over a decade.

  7. Kevin Prince

    February 12, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    I am not entirely cognizant of the dynamics regarding our monetary system, but the persistent vacillation by our “leaders/policy markers” is simply cruel. Albeit PMB pious crusade against corruption is commendable, dude is FAR from a progressive leader. Dude campaigned multiple times just to take 6 month to appoint a cabinet and the budget has not been passed while the Nigerian economy is in a morbid state. The only silver lining is Aviation fuel is affordable for our President to continue his World Tour.

  8. nene+

    February 12, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    O dear!!!!! Nigeria has nosedived this far on murky waters? What a pity!!!!! Why stop students fees and sick people who are not politicians? Are you saying Zhara would face this challenge??

    Well when Nigeria voted NEPA bill certificate holder, that is what you get!!!! CBN would never come up with such silly policy if they know the president will not tolerate it!

    Buhari doctors and holiday spots are in UK ,paid with dollars at official rate, his voters are denied of dollars and asked to withdraw their wards for sacrifice and their sick ones. Sorry voters 2019 demand for certificate!!! A certified person is always better no matter what!!!

    Negative change is really here!!! Instead of them to swallow there pride and consult Okonjo Iweala they are accusing her just to hear her golden voice!!!! Buhari’s economic team will not pass modern Eco 101!!!!

  9. nene+

    February 12, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Their pride*

    • nene+

      February 12, 2016 at 8:27 pm

      One would have tot that an assertive economic crew or President would have swiftly dust our tourism sector.
      Yankari,Obudu,Ikogosi, and all the attractions to bring foreigners to spend even now that our naira is valueless.

      But NO our LAI MUHAMMED is dishing out lies and our president is touring in other countries instead speaking evil about Nigerians, and telling foreigners to run! run!!run!!! Nigerians are criminals.

      This times demands that our president sell his country as suitable investment destination by promising stuff like Corporate tax freedom for certain number years,make Nigeria business seemless e.g registration of Coys in Singapore can be done in a day-etc

      Countries without a drop of oil have been surviving, instead of our president to focus on agric and a handy tourism he is looking for oil in Lake chad Basin-Oil that is almost valueless.

      I haven’t heard of any policy direction from Audu Ogbe -Agric minister besides wearing farm clothes in Kenya cattle milking site?

  10. Itha

    February 12, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    I am ashamed to call Nigeria my country. They keep saying ‘real sector’. Please what sector is the ‘real’ one that you are channeling forex too. Education and health are not ‘real’ but you all are turning up every weekend spraying people dollars? Meanwhile if we had good schools and hospitals why would people go abroad? I cover my face in shame at the audacity to spew rubbish our leaders have.

    I hope every govt official whose child is abroad comes home too. Nonsense!

  11. See things 'Half Full'

    February 12, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    The availability of forex, makes it easier for parents to send their children to school abroad. Why can’t we look at it this way, maybe it’s time to develop our own institutions so that foreigners can attend them. Because every “tom dick and harry” (and I use those names lightly, understanding that the average Nigerian family can’t conveniently afford to) can afford to buy dollars and pounds to ship their children out, no one really cares about the state of Unilag, Yaba Tech and all the other Government owned Universities. No one cares if the professors are well paid, or that the curriculum is current. Can we spend our money developing our nation?

    • see things half full is a buhari zombie

      February 12, 2016 at 7:40 pm

      Yes i said so

    • Oma

      February 12, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      Yes, you make good points, but how does making it impossible for students currently studying abroad to pay their tuition help the nation? You are talking of fruits that can be reaped many years from now if the government plants the seed now. We are talking of the immediate implications, gerrit?.

    • honey omo lekki

      February 12, 2016 at 11:18 pm

      The decisions might be harsh but we have to start from somewhere. Imagine 15% of forex consumption!!!!
      The students that are there already can transfer to school here in Nigeria. Yes, it is not impossible.
      Of all the problems troubling Nigeria, kids of rich folks schooling abroad is the least of my worries.
      Change does not always come cheap and is not always rosy. We just have to ride the tide and hope we “get the gold at the end of the rainbow”. For now, we can only hope.

  12. Chi

    February 12, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    This is the change we voted for. Please continue in mama ps voice….. Hehehe

  13. Bimbo

    February 12, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    The elite let our educational system rot and then send their own children to school abroad. Let everyone sit down in nigeria and enjoy the half-baked education our institutions provide.

  14. NaijaPikin

    February 12, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Honestly ehn forex na big man problem. majority of naija don’t fall into the big man bucket. Wetin dem one use forex do.

    It however sucks big time. considering all these leaders travel out of the country for medical.

  15. ElessarisElendil

    February 12, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    “They said Nigerians should make sacrifices that’ll benefit the country, currency and economy in the long run.”

    They really mean most Nigerians because we know some will avoid these sacrifices.

    S/N Does anybody else see the route the APC is going? Religion and tribe are apparently old-school, what’s in now seems to the politicization of envy. Watch anybody who tries to point that a government with Nigeria’s ehm antecedents really should not be picking winners be called out as a rich traitor who probably is corrupt to boot.

    I’m torn between applauding the impressive politics and bemoaning the amateurish economic management and blatant dishonesty.

    *Sigh* I’m not posting comments that fast………….at least a minute in between.

  16. Some students in foreign schools are not from elite families

    February 13, 2016 at 1:56 am

    Yes, people like me, whose parents never had formal jobs, and who are here funded by Nigerian scholarships (via GEJ). This hurts us too…

  17. Rich Kid

    February 13, 2016 at 8:50 am

    It’s interesting to see the comments of rich kids lamenting on this page. Everyone in Nigeria is GREEDY, the rich kids are fighting so their school fees can be paid, what about the poor kids that find it hard to afford ordinary bread or school sanders as a result of increment in exchange rate? Nigerians, Love thyself!

  18. Amy

    February 21, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    My take is that forex issue or oil prices are not “rich folk” issues only. It took the elites and ruling class almost 30 years to destroy all the good schools and hospitals, they cannot stop kids who are at various levels in colleges abroad in just one statement. It shows the ignorance of those who are supposed to know better! The whole issue is not an overnight decision that must or can be complied with, it should be thought through, and strategized. They have to remove tribal and greedy logs from their eyes and fund universities and hospitals to world standards then you won’t even need to stop anyone from buying forex for these purposes. When I attended UI in the eighties, it was a great institution that along with Ife, ABU, UNN, Uniben, Unilag, etc produced graduates that competed well on the world stage. Most parents who attended these schools won’t even send their kids there now if they have a choice.
    The bitter truth is that years of looting funds meant for education, health, defense, etc are finally coming home to roost! Unfortunately it’s not the very rich whose kids are going to suffer ( they have enough stashed abroad for 5 generations)! I just feel sorry for Nigerian youths on all sides of the divide. They deserve better. My kid’s roommate in College ( an international student, as F1 and non residents/citizens are referred to) has been so worried, I feel bad for the poor kid! Especially since school fees for Public Universities are graduated and international students pay the highest. These bunch of partying rulers need to sit down and do their jobs and come up with long term policies to build institutions and not expect kids to just transfer back to Nigerian schools! It’s not feasible.

  19. Joy

    February 22, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    judging people based on your personal bias or circumstances doesn’t get anyone anywhere if anything it makes u small minded. I don’t have to B a rich kid to want to have quality education or healthcare. I had my education in Nigeria and i am working very hard to make sure that my kids have better education than i had because from my experience Nigerian education is not up to par at all!!! Nigeria wants to work on healthcare and education, that’s great!! Maybe when we see what they have done then people can change their minds about out our educational sector. People die in our hospitals from very curable diseases, how about the unprofessional attitudes of our nurses and doctors? Anyone that hasn’t been in a Nigerian general hospital or lost someone to curable sickness will support this. Conclusion: get the institutions working well and you won’t need to convince anyone about seeking better services outside the country .

  20. Govtlackinitiative

    February 23, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    How does that make sense CBN? just explain how? so the economy is in a bad state and your short term solution is to fuck with someone elses progressive future, what happened to the remaining 75% why not ban the use of forex for transactions that wont hurt as much as someone’s education. Smh

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