DIASPORA remittances to Nigeria could grow to $25.5 billion, $29.8 billion and $34.8 billion in 2019, 2021 and 2023, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Limited has said
In its latest White Paper Series titled: Strength from Abroad: The Economic Power of Nigeria’s Diaspora, it said over a 15-year period, it expects total remittance flows to the country to grow by almost double in size from $18.37 billion in 2009 to $34.89 billion in 2023.
Partner & Chief Economist at PwC, Dr. Andrew S. Nevin, said the report was an analysis, which showed the critical importance of the Diaspora to Nigeria’s economy.
According to him, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) led by Abike Dabiri-Erewa, indicated that the Federal Government recognised the strategic importance of the Nigerian diaspora.
Nevin, however, said the key next step for the newly established Commission was to formulate and execute a strategy to maximise the benefits of Nigeria’s Diaspora.
“In addition, we’re very keen to see state governments start to engage the Diaspora. The primary benefit of remittances to recipient households is the improvement in their general welfare,” the chief economist said.
For instance, Nevin said studies show that 70 per cent of remittances are used for consumption purposes, while 30 per cent of remittance funds go to investment-related uses. “So, it is important that Nigeria has a Diaspora strategy both at the national and state level,” he said.
The PwC report noted that Nigeria accounts for over a third of migrant remittance flows to sub-Saharan Africa.
According to the report, Egypt and Nigeria account for the largest inflows of remittances into Africa last year.
In 2017, however, Nigeria led the continent in terms of remittance receipts, but dropped to second place behind Egypt last year.
The report, which underscored the contribution of Nigerian Diaspora remittances to national development, stated that for four consecutive years, official remittances exceeded Nigeria’s oil revenues.
“Since many transactions are unrecorded or take place through informal channels, the actual amount of remittance flows into the country is arguably higher,” the report said.
It, however, recommended among others the creation of platforms that increase accessibility of crucial information for Nigerians in the Diaspora; encourage and create pooled investment vehicles.
The report added that early-stage businesses with smaller financing needs present a great opportunity for those in the Diaspora to invest through angel networks.