The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said Nigeria is leading other Africa nations and one of the top five (5) globally in remittances inflows.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who made this known, however, did not mention the exact amount of inflow but simply said Nigerians in the diaspora and other African nationals sent $72 billion home last year.
Emefiele, who was represented at a workshop on Remittance Household Surveys by the Director, Statistics Department of the apex bank, Mohammed Tumala, on Tuesday in Abuja, also said, while quoting a World Bank report that Nigeria was one of the top five countries of the world which received about $613 billion in remittances in 2017.
Although, the World Bank had in the same report disclosed that Nigeria received a total of N22 billion remittances inflows in 2017.
In his address, the CBN boss said remittances inflows contribute substantially to foreign exchange earnings and household finances in most developing countries.
“Money sent home by migrant workers is among the major financial inflows to developing countries and in some cases, it exceeds international aids and grants.
“According to the World Bank, global remittances have risen gradually over the years to about $613 billion in 2017, of which $72 billion was received by African countries. As a recipient country, Nigeria tops African countries and is also ranked among the top five globally,” he said.
Emefiele added that Nigeria had taken steps to attract more remittances inflow into the nation to further develop the Nigerian economy.
The steps aimed at attracting Nigerians in diaspora to remit funds home, Emefiele said, include the floating of a $300 million diaspora bond by the federal government.
He also added that the introduction of electronic Certificate of Capital Importation to Nigerians abroad and the country’s membership of the International Association of Money Transfer Networks were parts of measures to encourage Nigerians outside the country to remit monies home.
Emefiele said the former statistics on remittances inflows in the country were based on bank records and staff estimates, which according to him is a “methodology with limitations.”
“We think that a large chunk of migrants’ remittances pass through informal channels and are thus, unrecorded.
“Nigeria is yet to conduct a household based remittances survey to provide scientific estimates of these informal inflows.
“In addition, data from banking records also come with some discrepancies due to classification challenges on the part of reporting,” he added.