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Tuesday, November 21, 2023

‘Commercial Banks in Nigeria Are Extorting Diaspora Students’

Emeka Amakeze, a Twitter user, has accused Nigerians commercial banks in Nigeria of collecting kickbacks before processing service transactions for students in the diaspora.

The netizens in a tweet urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to launch an investigation into the matter that has cost many Nigerians their studentships in various countries of study.

He said: “Dear @cenbank  there are reports that bank staff are charging between ₦200k – ₦400k bribe to “FastTrack” Form A and this has got UK universities suspending many Nigerian students and reporting them to the Home Office. There should be full investigation into this.

READ: Nigerian in Diaspora Speaks Up as Union Bank ‘Mistakenly’ Credits His Account with N699,000

“While this act is unwholesome. It’s important to infer the situation of poor supply of FX to DMBs for these transactions. Then again, it is not a core function of the regulator to provide FX for students. Economically speaking, Form A deprives critical sectors of funding

“Like Aviation, manufacturing e.t.c Also, Nigerian students attest to having sufficient funds to support their living and studies through (mostly)  fictitious bank statements. There was no caveat stating the nig govt will fund their education through an ease of obtaining FX.”

READ: Abuja Banks Comply With CBN Forex Directive, Sell Dollar At N412

Form A is an application form designed by the CBN to pay for service transactions (invisible trade). The form allows customers to purchase funds at the CBN or interbank rate to make payments for eligible services as predetermined by the Foreign exchange manual.

WikkiTimes had reported how a Nigerian student at at the University of Greenwich, in the United Kingdom lost his studentship as a result of alleged irregularities by Zenith Bank. 

The university however gave the student a grace of November  3 to reinstate the studentship. However, the student had been reinstated, according to the Foundation for Investigative Journalism.

READ: After WikkiTimes’ Story, Zenith Bank Frees Freelancer’s Withheld Dollars

The student explained that the CBN had approved the disbursement of the money into the pounds currency account, but Zenith Bank withheld the money without a cogent explanation. 

“I need to pay for my accommodation and do not have any money to feed myself, Central bank already took out the charges from my bank 4 weeks ago and also 2,226,566.00 nairas equivalent to 4000 pounds in my account 2 weeks ago,” he said. “But you people are still yet to credit my pounds account, is it until I die of hunger here before you will credit me my money. This is so unfair and you people are very heartless. All zenith banks keep sending me copy and paste emails.” she tweeted on March 15, 2022.”


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