Nigeria tops remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa with $22bn

Customers waiting in que for financial transactions in Lagos, Nigeria

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The most recent data from the World Bank shows that Nigerians living abroad (Diaspora) sent home $22 billion in 2017, the highest in the Sub-Saharan region, and the fifth highest in the world.

This represents 10 percent increase when compared to the $19.64 billion sent home in 2016. The amount sent home by Nigerians in Diaspora represents the highest in the Sub-Saharan Africa region followed by Senegal and Ghana with $2.2 billion each for the year.

The World Bank disclosed this in a report titled, Migration and Development Brief. According to the report, remittances to low and middle-income countries rose by 8.5 percent from $429 billion in 2016 to $466 billion in 2017 while global remittances appreciated by 7.0 percent to $613 billion in 2017, from $573 billion in 2016. The rebound in remittances, the World Bank said was driven by growth in Europe, the Russian Federation, and the United States. It stated: “Remittances to low- and middle-income countries rebounded to a record level in 2017 after two consecutive years of decline, says the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief.

“The Bank estimates that officially recorded remittances to low and middle-income countries reached $466 billion in 2017, an increase of 8.5 percent over $429 billion in 2016. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, grew 7.0 percent to $613 billion in 2017, from $573 billion in 2016. “The stronger than expected recovery in remittances is driven by growth in Europe, the Russian Federation, and the United States.

The rebound in remittances, when valued in U.S. dollars, was helped by higher oil prices and a strengthening of the euro and ruble.” According to the statement, globally, India emerged top remittance recipients with $69 billion, followed by China ($64 billion), the Philippines ($33 billion), Mexico ($31 billion), Nigeria ($22 billion), and Egypt ($20 billion).

It, however, projected a 7 percent growth in remittances to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to $41 billion in 2018. “Remittance inflows improved in all regions and the top remittance recipients were India with $69 billion, followed by China ($64 billion), the Philippines ($33 billion), Mexico ($31 billion), Nigeria ($22 billion), and Egypt ($20 billion). Remittances are expected to continue to increase in 2018, by 4.1 percent to reach $485 billion. Global remittances are expected to grow 4.6 percent to $642 billion in 2018.

“Remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa accelerated 11.4 percent to $38 billion in 2017, supported by improving economic growth in advanced economies and higher oil prices benefiting regional economies. The largest remittance recipients were Nigeria ($21.9 billion), Senegal ($2.2 billion), and Ghana ($2.2 billion). The region is host to several countries where remittances are a significant share of gross domestic product, including Liberia (27 percent), The Gambia (21 percent), and Comoros (21 percent). In 2018, remittances to the region are expected to grow 7.0 percent to $41 billion,” the World Bank stated.

In addition to sending money to their families, international migrants hold significant savings in their destination countries. ‘Diaspora savings’ attributed to migrants from developing countries were estimated at $497 billion in 2013, the latest data available.