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World Bank: Diaspora Nigerians Remit $99.83bn In Five Years - NEW TELEGRAPH

JULY 10, 2024

BY  Tony Chukwunye

The Nigerian Diaspora community remitted a total of $99.83 billion to the country between 2019 and 2023, according to World Bank data for the five-year period.

A breakdown of the numbers shows that the country’s Diaspora community remitted $23.81 billion in 2019; $17.21 billion in 2020; $19.21 billion in 2021; $20.1 billion in 2022 and $19.5 billion in 2023.

In April 2023, the Chief Economist and Vice President, Economic Governance and Knowledge Management, African Development Bank(AfDB) Group, Prof. Kevin Urama, said at an event, in Abuja, that Nigeria ranks fourth among African countries with large numbers of diasporans outside the continent.

He stated: “Nigeria is one of the countries with large numbers of Diasporans. The Nigerian Diaspora living outside Africa has tripled be – tween 2000 and 2020. “While Nigeria ranks fourth among African countries with large numbers of Diasporans outside the continent, the extracontinental Nigerian diaspora has tripled in two decades.

“From 320,000 people in 2000 to about one million in 2020; about 58 per cent of Nigeria’s diasporans live outside Africa, while 42 per cent live in Africa.’’

Indeed, the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief report, released on June 26, indicates that the $19.5 billion remittance flows to Nigeria in 2023, accounted for around 35 percent of total remittance inflows to SubSaharan Africa last year.

According to the report, remittance flows to Sub-Saharan Africa reached $54 billion in 2023, a slight decrease of -0.3 percent from the previous year.

It, however, said that remittance flows to the region are projected to rise by 1.3 per cent in 2024, add – ing that “the projected moderate growth in remittances reflects the expected slower growth in the Unit – ed States while a feeble rebound is expected for Europe.”

It projected that the economic growth rate in Canada, Europe, and the United States, “where large shares of remittance senders live,” will decrease from 1.6 per cent in 2023 to 1.5 per cent in 2024.

Specifically, the report said: “Remittance flows to Sub-Saharan Af – rica were nearly 1.5 times the size of FDI flows in 2023, and relatively more stable. FDI flows to the region reached $38.6 billion in 2023, driven primarily by greenfield project announcements in Kenya and Nigeria (UNCTAD 2024).

“The largest recipients of remittances in the region during 2023— measured in US dollar terms—include Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. Remittances have become the most important foreign exchange earner in several coun – tries.

For example, for Kenya remit – tances are larger than the country’s key exports, including tourism, tea, coffee, and horticulture. Countries more dependent on receipts as a proportion of GDP include the Gambia, Lesotho, Comoros, Liberia, and Cabo Verde, with remittances contributing more than a fifth of GDP in the first three countries.”

It further stated: “The regional growth in remittances in 2023 was largely driven by strong remittance growth in Uganda (15 percent to $1.4 billion), Rwanda (9.3 percent to $0.5 billion), Kenya (2.6 percent to $4.2 billion), and Tanzania (4 percent to $0.7 billion). Remittances to Nigeria, accounting for around 35 percent of total remittance inflows to the region, decreased by 2.9 percent to $19.5 billion.”

While the report stated that, “fixed exchange rates and capital controls continue to have an impact on foreign exchange markets and channels of remittance flows,” it noted that “the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has started to unify the foreign exchange market win – dows by introducing operational changes in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market.”

“The CBN has also outlined new operational modalities for commercial banks, Bureau de Change operators, and international money transfer operators. The CBN just licensed 14 such operators to increase competition in remittance transactions,” the report added.


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