Reps to probe schools collecting fees in foreign currency

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The House of Representatives, on Tuesday resolved to probe foreign schools in Nigeria collecting fees in foreign currency.

The lower chamber held that the practice was in disregard to Federal Government policy and exploitation of parents.

The position of the lawmakers was sequel to a motion by Rep. Emmanuel Agboola (Ekiti-PDP) and 14 others.

Moving the motion, Agboola recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had on April 17, 2015, issued a circular on “Currency Substitution and Dollarization of the Nigerian Economy” to reform the currency regulations.

He said that this was in pursuant to Sections 15, 20(1) and (5) of the CBN Act, which made it illegal to price or denominate the cost of any product or service in any foreign currency in Nigeria other than the Naira.

The lawmaker expressed concern that the American International School, Abuja was charging school fees in United States dollar.

He added that some other international schools in Nigeria were also collecting fees in foreign currencies, contrary to the government policy.

He explained that AISA disregarded the extant financial regulations even when it was inclined to collect the fees in Naira and could accept the currency only at parallel market rate.

According to the lawmaker, the use of the parallel market rate to determine the amount of fees to be collected in Naira entails that parents pay school fees at different rates.

“This depends on the rate in the black market and as such, parents of children in the same class end up paying different fees for their wards, depending on the day the payment was made,” he said.

The motion was unanimously adopted by members through a voice vote.

In his remarks, Mr Yussuff Lasun said that the matter should be investigated by the relevant committee of the house.

He, therefore, referred the motion to the Committee on Basic Education.

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