Form-A: How Banks Fleece Nigerian Students Studying Abroad

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… NANS Kicks, Seeks NIDCOM, CBN Intervention

The National Association Of Nigerian Students (NANS) has raised the alarm over the hardships Nigerian students studying abroad are going through due to the bastardisation of the Form-A provisions for Nigerians in the Diaspora.

NANS, through the Office of the Vice-President External Affairs (NANS) in a statement signed by Comrade Akinteye Babatunde Afeez and made available to Daily Independent, indicted and blamed some Nigerian banks for the hardship and withdrawal of students studying abroad from scholarships due to their inability to access funds through the Form-A provisions.

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 like.

According to NANS, this provision has become embarrassing and a nightmare to many Nigerians overseas, especially students in foreign institutions as commercial banks now sell FOREX at black market rates and this has stalled the academic pursuit of many.

The students’ body called on the Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) to reach out to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to be more proactive in checkmating the activities of our Nigerian banks regarding the abuse of the Form A option and the ridiculous rate of FOREX.

The statement read in parts, “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 Form A through our commercial banks.

“This Form-A has now become a nightmare because it has stopped solving their problems but rather aggravated it year in and year out.

The Office of the Vice President External Affairs (NANS) has been duly notified that 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. This is because whenever these students abroad demand FOREX, 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 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.”

The statement added that due to the Form-A racketeering, “… Some Nigerian Students at Hull City University, United Kingdom, lost their scholarships. Some lost their admission and they were deported to Nigeria as a result of this.

NANS decried the preference by banks in Nigeria to sell FOREX to BEDC secretly than to process Nigerian Students’ Form A to the detriment of the students, saying the unwholesome practice is unacceptable and wicked to the wellbeing of Nigerian Students studying abroad.

Besides, the association appealed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to intervene on behalf of the Nigerian Students and take drastic measures to put a stop to the threat.

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