Nigeria leads SSA to diaspora remittance of $19.2bn in 2021 – World Bank

In spite of the perceived slowdown in diaspora remittance to Nigeria, a total of $19.2 billion came to the country in 2021, the highest Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) according to World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief released at the weekend.

In fact, the figure rose 11.2 per cent from the $17.2 billion recorded in 2020.

Against the backdrop that, the country’s apex bank was over-protecting a its currency, the report said that stability of the naira and the Naira-4-Dollar policy helped in attracting the inflows.

The SSA recorded a 14.1 per cent leap to $49 billion.

According to the World Bank’s Brief, “Remittances to Africa have maintained a strong secular uptrend, with several years of exception, advancing by 11 per cent on average per year over 2004–21. However, remittances have never proved dominant among external financial flows for the region, eclipsed by ODA over the period (by some $9 billion in 2021) and by robust—yet quite volatile—inflows of FDI, largely directed toward resource-rich economies (the surge in FDI during 2021 reflects a mega M&A transaction in South Africa).

Portfolio investment inflows have been volatile historically, given the region’s debt difficulties; and portfolio flows now have been adversely affected by the onset of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.”

Commenting on the cost of sending remittances, Dilip Ratha, lead author of the report on migration and remittances, said “Lowering remittance fees by 2 percentage points would potentially translate to $12 billion of annual savings for international migrants from LMICs, and $400 million for migrants and refugees from Ukraine