The Central Bank of Nigeria has disclosed that total direct remittances to Nigeria in the first seven months of the year rose by 135.51 per cent to $11.54bn as against $4.9bn reported in the corresponding period of 2018.
Data collected from the apex bank official website revealed that diaspora remittances into the nation’s economy continued to soar amidst series of foreign exchange reforms that tend to attract inflow of capital.
The CBN had licensed International Money Transfer Operators and monitors legitimate foreign currency, especially dollar inflow into the country.
In addition, banks and oil companies remit foreign currency to the CBN.
The breakdown of the CBN’s total direct remittances revealed that in January, $1.89bn was remitted while in February, $1.9bn was the total direct remittance.
According to the CBN, $1.12bn and $1.56bn were the total direct remittances between March and April 2019, respectively. Total direct remittance hit $1.74bn in May; $1.67bn in June and $1.66bn in July 2019.
Those operators licensed by the CBN are TRANS-Fast Remittance, Worldremit Limited, UAE Exchange Center LLC, Wari Limited and Home Send S.C.R.L.
Others are Small World Financial Services Group, Weblink International Limited, Cashpot Limited, DT&T Corporation Limited and Corporation Limited and Fiem Group LLC, DBA Ping Express and CP Express Limited.
PwC had recently said remittances from abroad could strengthen Nigeria’s economy with an estimated amount of $25.5bn, $29.8bn and $34.8bn in 2019, 2021 and 2023, respectively.
The company in its latest white paper series, “Strength from Abroad: The Economic Power of Nigeria’s Diaspora”, stated that over a 15-year period, it expected a total remittance to Nigeria to grow by almost double in size from $18.37bn in 2009 to $34.89bn in 2023.
According to the report, migrant remittances were 77.2 per cent of the Federal Government’s budget in 2018 and more than 10 times the FDI flows in the same period.
Partner & Chief Economist, PWC, Andrew Nevin, said the report was an analysis which showed the critical importance of the diaspora to Nigeria’s economy.
The recently established Nigerians in Diaspora Commission led by Abike Dabiri-Erewa, indicated that the Federal Government recognised the strategic importance of the Nigerian diaspora.