Nigerians, particularly students undertaking various courses of study in several institutions of learning abroad are now stranded following the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)'s policy that bans the use of Nigerian banks ATM abroad.
Investigations by our foreign correspondents show that countries where the ban hit hard include; the United Kingdom, the United States, Middle East, Latin America and some African countries. The investigations also show that the situation affect mostly the children of the less privileged who were opportune to be there due to their outstanding academic performance through certain special study schemes, but now not getting their regular scholarships from the sponsoring states and agencies.
Our correspondents gathered that children of the rich, such as governors, ministers, heads of government agencies and business men are not affected by the ban as their parents regularly visit those countries giving their wards huge sums of hard currencies for their upkeep.
Our correspondents also gathered that due to the policy which becomes effective early this month, Nigerian students could no longer afford to settle their monthly rents and are being ejected out of the rented houses by their respective landlords.
In the United States and United Kingdom where Nigerian students populations are high compared to other countries, the students suffer serious harassment and intimidation from landlords. Our reporters gathered that many of the students could not even afford their usual daily meals due to the CBN restriction.
One of the most serious and sympathetic situation the students are exposed to is the inability of the students to settle their school fees and taxes, which is likely to affect their programs of study in those countries. Many students who spoke to our correspondents said they have no money to return back to Nigeria, either. "If the situation continues, no one knows what happens to many of us. The laws of these countries, US and UK in particular, are too rigid to compromise the situation this policy exposed many of us to. So, sooner or later, the immigration authorities, particularly the homeland security of these countries would start harassing, intimidating, arresting and even detaining us for fear of terrorism which is now a thing of grave concern any where in the world", said Patrick Daniel in the state of Louisiana in the United States.
Demola Jocob a second year student who studies medicine in Scotland, said he has been sleeping in a friend's car for the past 3 days and could only eat once daily.
Abubakar Musa is a final year student of engineering in the University of Ghana, he said he lost his parents to the Boko Haram crisis in the North Eastern Borno state 4 months ago and since then has been struggling to see to the end of his study next year, only for the little assistance he was getting from his only sister to be blocked by the new CBN policy.
Our correspondents said the ugly situation, if not arrested would turn many Nigerian students, refugees in those countries.
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