Nigerians living abroad sent $22bn home in 2017 - World Bank - PUNCH

April 24 2018
Nigerians living abroad sent home $22bn in 2017, a 16.4 per cent increase from the amount they repatriated in 2016, a World Bank report revealed on Monday.

Payments from immigrants back to their home countries rebounded to reach the new record in 2017 but the costs of transferring funds also increased, the World Bank said on Monday.

The stronger-than-expected recovery in remittances - payments that are key to supporting the economies of many poor countries - was driven by growth in Europe, Russia and the United States, the bank said.

The bank estimates that officially recorded remittances to low- and middle-income countries reached $466bn in 2017, an increase of 8.5 per cent over $429bn in 2016.

They are expected to increase by about four per cent this year.

Remittance inflows improved in all regions and the top remittance recipients were India with $69bn, followed by China ($64bn), the Philippines ($33bn), Mexico ($31bn), Nigeria ($22bn), and Egypt ($20bn).

The global average cost of sending $200 was 7.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2018, and sub-Saharan Africa remains the most expensive place to send money to, where the average cost is 9.4 per cent.

"While remittances are growing, countries, institutions, and development agencies must continue to chip away at high costs of remitting so that families receive more of the money," said Dilip Ratha, lead author of the report.

The bank called on countries to take steps to simplify the process to reduce the costs, including "introducing more efficient technology."

By region, Europe and Central Asia saw the biggest growth last year, jumping by 21 per cent, while Sub-Saharan Africa rose by 11 per cent.

The last year edition of the Migration and Development Brief, a publication of the World Bank, stated that remittances to Nigeria from abroad fell by 10 per cent in 2016.

In 2015, Diaspora remittances to the country stood at $21bn and it made Nigeria the sixth receiver of remittances in the world.

Last year, remittance flows to Sub-Saharan Africa declined by an estimated 6.1 per cent to $33bn in 2016, due to slow economic growth in remittance-sending countries; decline in commodity prices, especially oil, which impacted remittance receiving countries; and diversion of remittances to informal channels due to controlled exchange rate regimes in countries such as Nigeria.

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Steven Rich
Sep 17, 2018:
Well done

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