Nigerian Diaspora Contributes $168bn in 8 Years – World Bank Report
According to a recent report by the World Bank, Nigerians living abroad have remitted a staggering $168.33 billion to the country in the past eight years. The remittances were made despite the instability of foreign investments in the country due to a scarcity of foreign currency, which has resulted in the free fall of the naira.
The World Bank and Budget Office of the Federation have data showing that these remittances have played a significant role in cushioning the adverse effects of foreign exchange scarcity, as well as in keeping the country’s forex reserve afloat. In fact, in 2022, remittances to sub-Saharan Africa increased by 5.2% to $53 billion, with Nigeria receiving the largest share.
From 2015 to 2022, the total remittance sent home by Nigerians in the Diaspora was $168.33 billion. The figures show that the Diaspora remittance was $21.2 billion in 2015, dropping to $19.7 billion in 2016, then rising to $22 billion in 2017. In 2018, the figure was $24.31 billion, falling to $23.81 billion in 2019, and $17.21 billion in 2020 due to the pandemic. It rebounded to $19.2 billion in 2021, and the World Bank estimated that inflows into the country had reached $20.9 billion by 2022.
The World Bank noted that Diaspora remittances were one of the top sources of non-oil foreign exchange for the country in 2022. The sustained increase in Diaspora inflows since 2021 has been due to several new policies from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
However, the Nigerian Diaspora community has recently stated that the current global economic hardship may affect its ability to transfer a lot of funds home. Despite this, as of April 19, 2023, data from the CBN showed that Nigeria’s forex reserve had increased by 18.4% to $34.43 billion, compared to $29.07 billion in 2015.
In conclusion, the contribution of the Nigerian Diaspora community to the country’s economy through remittances cannot be overstated. Despite the challenges faced, the continued inflow of remittances from Nigerians living abroad is critical to the country’s economic stability.