The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to speed up the process of tuition payment for Nigerians studying in the United Kingdom and other countries.
Form A is an application form designed by the CBN to pay for service transactions (invisible trade) like foreign tuition, foreign training courses, and foreign medical bills.
The service allows students to pay for foreign tuition via CBN at an official foreign exchange rate rather than using the black market rate with a wide margin.
NANS Vice President, External Affairs, Akinteye Babatunde in a statement said some students have lost their admissions over the delay.
The statement read, “Many Nigerian students in the diaspora have come under colossal embarrassment, attack and humiliation by the actions and inactions of our Nigerian banks due to the way the Form A payment application is being utilized.
“It’s high time that everyone concerned came together to give this menace a lasting solution once and for all.
“The Form A is an application form designed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to pay for service transactions. This allows customers to make payments for services such as school fees, technical fees, airline tickets, BTA and the likes.
“The Nigerian students studying abroad or intending to do so are forced to use this application as their only form of transaction to pay their school fees and get other things done via FOREX. Instead of seeking FOREX themselves through the black market, they enjoy the official rate with the Form A through our commercial banks. This Form A has now become a nightmare because it has stopped solving their problems but rather aggravating it year in, year out.
“The Office of the Vice President External Affairs (NANS) has been duly notified that the Form A is no longer tenable and useful for the students in the diaspora due to the level of fraud and corruption going on in our Nigerian Banks (most especially UBA). This is because whenever these students in abroad demand FOREX, our Nigerian banks give them at black market rates and this is not affordable for many of these students. Let’s not forget that many of these students studying abroad are there on all sorts of scholarships.
“This implies that they are not financially buoyant enough and this skyrocketed (black market) rate of FOREX has debarred many from doing what they intend to do financially and this has caused them to drop out or withdraw their studentship due to lack of funds. Recently, some Nigerian students at Hull City University, United Kingdom, lost their scholarships. Some lost their admissions and they were deported to Nigeria as a result of this.
“It has come to our notice that many Nigerian banks prefer to sell FOREX to BEDC secretly than to process Nigerian students’ Form A, without considering the plight of these students. We have come to say that this is totally unbearable and unacceptable and we call on all our stakeholders in this regard to help look into it and proffer lasting solutions for the sake of the Nigerian Students studying abroad.
“The effect of this on our Nigerian Students studying abroad is enormous and it has ranged from them losing their admission/scholarship in these foreign schools to losing their studentship due to lack of funds to incessant deportation of our Nigerian Students when they can no longer meet up. It should be worthy of note that the majority of these Nigerian Students studying in the diaspora are either on scholarship or on self-sponsorship. Not all of them have access to excess funds to do whatever they like at whatever rate.
“This is the more reason the issue of this Form A and how our Nigerian banks are handling it should be vehemently looked into and readjusted to suit the average Nigerian students in their pursuit of knowledge and fulfillment overseas.
“The Vice President, External Affairs (NANS) hereby calls on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to be more proactive as to checkmating the activities of our Nigerian banks in the abuse of the Form A option and the ridiculous rate of FOREX. The CBN may also design another application through which Nigerian students can make payments easily and affordably. This will go a long way in curbing the incessant rate of dismissal and deportation of Nigerian students from their various institutions abroad.
“We also call on the Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) to help reach out to CBN and engage them meaningfully to help save the souls of the Nigerian Students studying abroad. We also call on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to intervene on behalf of the Nigerian Students and take drastic measures to put a stop to this threat.
“Lastly, we call on Concerned Nigerian Students studying abroad to always speak out as soon as they can whenever issues like this pop up before it leads to dismissal or deportation. The Office of the Vice President External Affairs (NANS) is always ready to fight the cause of the Nigerian Students in the diaspora at all times.”