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Nigeria spends N1.5 trn annually on studying abroad

14 November 2012, 16:12

Abuja  -The Exam Ethics International, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) has said Nigeria spends about N1.5 trillion annually on Nigerian students studying abroad.

Mr Ike Onyechere, the Chairman of the NGO, said that the amount covered monies spent on scholarships, private and government owned institutions and individuals.

Onyechere said there was need to stop the trend to ``prevent this huge economic loss. This is the greatest negative balance of payment any country can suffer’’.

He attributed the development to the decay in the country's education sector and the incessant strikes which had disrupted schools' calendar.

According to him, the development has caused the country huge economic losses and seriously contributed to the under-development of the sector which is key to driving other sectors.

``A country like Ghana for instance is gulping Nigeria's N160 billion annually, UK also has in its kitty N80 billion which is the cost of sending our children to their shores for studies,’’ he said.

He stressed the need to over haul the sector, saying: ``unnecessary experimentation by those saddled with the responsibility of developing the sector would prevent it from imminent collapse’’.

The chairman said part of the overhaul should include the scrapping of some examination bodies that were making things worse.

``A body like the Joint Admissions and Matriculation (JAMB) for example is nothing but a calamity for the country. Check out the top 50 universities in world, how many of them have parastatals that regulate admissions?

``JAMB has gone through series of metamorphosis, yet it has nothing to show for it if not making access to education more difficult.’’

According to him, the introduction of an e-testing for candidates is another wrong step in the wrong direction.

Onyechere said every good education policy should take at least four years gestation period before its implementation process.

``For JAMB to just wake up one day and say it is introducing such a test is laughable.

``The idea of one body solely responsible for the admission of candidates into the many higher institutions we have in the country is totally unacceptable.’’

JAMB, had on Nov. 1, launched the e-testing, a Computer Based Testing (CBT) for candidates sitting for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME).

The Minister of Education, Ruqayyatu Rufa'i, had during the launch of the CBT described it as one of the transformative efforts of the government toward revamping the sector.

NAN

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