Story by Kayode Tokede
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that total direct remittances to Nigeria in nine months of 2019 moved to $14.9billion as against $7.2 billion reported in prior year nine months of 2018.
This is an increase of about 108 per cent total direct remittance reported by the apex bank in nine months.
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 (IMTO) and monitors legitimate foreign currency, most especially Dollar inflow into the country.
In addition, banks and oil companies also remit foreign currency to the CBN.
The breakdown of CBN’s total direct remittances revealed that, in January, $1.89billion was remitted ,while in Feburary, $1.9billion was the total direct remittance.
According to the CBN, $1.12 billion and $1.56billion was the total direct remittance between March and April 2019 respectively. Total direct remittance hits $1.74billion in May; $1.67 billion in June and $1.66 billion in July 2019.
However, for August and September, the apex bank reported $1.66 billion and $1.69 billion respectively.
According to the CBN’s International Payments, a total of $11.23 billion was the total direct remittance reported in 2018.
Those operators licensed by 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, and DBA Ping Express, CP Express limited.
However, PwC had said remittances from abroad could strengthen Nigeria’s economy with an estimated amount of $25.5billion, $29.8billion and $34.8billion in 2019, 2021 and 2023 respectively.
PwC in its latest white paper series, “Strength from Abroad: The Economic Power of Nigeria’s diaspora”, stated that over a 15-year period, that it expected a total remittance flows to Nigeria to grow by almost double in size from $18.37 billion in 2009 to $34.89 billion in 2023.
According to the report, migrant remittances was 77.2 per cent of the federal government budget in 2018 and more than 10 times the FDI flows in the same period.
Partner & chief economist, Andrew Nevin said, The report is an analysis which shows the critical importance of the diaspora to Nigeria’s economy.
The recently established Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) led by Abike Dabiri-Erewa, indicates that the federal government recognises the strategic importance of the Nigerian diaspora.