Total direct remittances hit $17.5bn in 11months – CBN


By Kayode Tokede

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed that Nigeria received $17.57 billion in total direct diaspora remittances between January and November 2019.

The latest data published by the apex regulator stated that the remittances rose by 56.4per cent  when it increased from $11.23 billion within the same period in 2018 to $17.57 billion in 2019.

Remittances are funds transferred from migrants to their home countries. For many developing nations, remittances from citizens working abroad provide a financial source of much-needed funds.

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. However, the apex bank reported $1.35 billion  and $1.32billion total direct remittance 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.

Data collected from the apex bank official website disclosed that diaspora remittances into the nation’s economy continued to soar amidst a series of foreign exchange reforms, which attracted capital inflow.

In 2010, Nigeria received $5.66 billion as direct diaspora remittances. Two years later, there was a dip in the country’s remittances as $2.20 billion remittances were recorded in 2013.

Direct remittances inflow picked in 2014, as Nigeria received a total of $8.15 billion.

Fast forward to 2018, direct remittances rose to $17.57 billion. This implies that direct remittances inflow into Nigeria rose by 210.3per cent in a decade.

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.