The Nigerian Diaspora community has remitted $168.33bn to the country in the past eight years, according to World Bank reports collated by our correspondents.
This is as foreign investments inflow into the country fluctuated in the period under review and caused a scarcity of foreign currency which has since led to the free fall of the naira.
According to data from the World Bank and Budget Office of the Federation, Nigeria’s Diaspora remittances have played a key role in assuaging the impact of foreign exchange scarcity and keeping the country’s forex reserve afloat.
In 2022, the World Bank stated that remittances flow to sub-Saharan Africa grew by 5.2 percent to $53bn, with Nigeria getting the largest share.
The data from the global bank revealed that between 2015 and 2022, a total of $168.33bn was sent home by Nigerians in the Diaspora.
A breakdown of the figures showed that in 2015, the Diaspora remittance was $21.2bn; it fell to $19.7bn in 2016; and increased to $22bn in 2017.
By 2018, it was $24.31bn. It soon fell to $23.81bn in 2019, and the pandemic caused it to plummet to 17.21bn in 2020. It made a rebound to $19.2bn in 2021 and by 2022 the World Bank estimated that the inflows into the country had reached $20.9bn.
Prior to 2020, Nigeria’s remittance inflows had only fallen below $20bn once, when it fell to $19.7bn in 2016. According to the World Bank, Diaspora remittance one of the top sources of non-oil foreign exchange for the country in 2022.
It noted that the sustained increase in Diaspora inflows since 2021 has been because of several new policies from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
As of April 19, 2023, data from the CBN showed that Nigeria’s forex reserve was $34.43bn, an 18.4 per cent increase from the $29.07bn it was in 2015.
While Diaspora remittance have offered a lifeline to many Nigerians, the Nigerian Diaspora community recently stated that the current global economic hardship may affect its ability to transfer a lot of funds home.