Nigerians in Diaspora remit $65.34bn in three years
The Nigerian Diaspora population remitted $65.34bn in three years to boost economic activities in the country, data obtained from the World Bank have shown.
According to the World Bank data, in 2018, the Nigerian Diaspora remittance was $24.31bn; in 2019, it dropped to $23.81bn; and in 2020, it fell to $17.21bn.
Remittance inflow made up four per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product in 2020.
According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Nigeria had a Diaspora population of 1.7 million as of 2020.
This puts the average remittance per Nigerian abroad (based on 2020 Diaspora population) at $38,428.15 across the three years.
Since 2008, India has held the trophy for the largest recipient of Diaspora remittances as it reaps from its large pool of technology experts who are sought after abroad.
However, in the years under review, on per-person average, Nigeria received more remittances than India and Bangladesh, another top destination of Diaspora remittances.
In 2020, India had a Diaspora population of 17.9 million and received $245.27bn in remittances in the three years under review.
While India’s remittance inflow overshadowed Nigeria’s, its remittance per Diaspora population was $13,702.30.
Bangladesh had a Diaspora population of 7.4 million in 2020. It had a total remittance of $55.68bn from 2018 to 2020. This puts the country’s remittance per Diaspora population at $7,524.29.
Diaspora remittance made up a larger share of Bangladesh’s GDP than any of the other two nations. Remittances as a share of GDP in 2020 was four per cent in Nigeria, 3.1 per cent for India, and 6.6 per cent for Bangladesh.
There are possibilities, however, that the Nigerian Diaspora population is large than what has been officially captured.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, had in 2017 said there were about 15 million Nigerians in various parts of the world.
According to the International Monetary Fund, remittances are household income from foreign economies arising mainly from the temporary or permanent movement of people to those economies. Remittances include cash and noncash items that flow through formal channels such as electronic wire, or through informal channels, such as money or goods carried across borders.
The IMF stated that remittances help poorer recipients meet basic needs, fund cash and non-cash investments, finance education, foster new businesses, service debt and essentially, drive economic growth.
The Federal Government signed the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission Establishment Bill into law in July 2017 after recognising the strategic importance of the Nigerian Diaspora.
The Law established the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, which was set up to engage and utilise the human, capital and material resources of this demography in the socioeconomic, cultural and political development of Nigeria.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa was appointed as the first chairman and chief executive officer of the Commission. In 2019, the Federal Government went a step further by recognising July 25 of every year as National Diaspora day.
By Temitayo Jaiyeola, Dayo Adenubi and Amarachi Orjiude
SOURCE: PUNCH NEWSPAPER