According to a report by World Bank, Nigerians in Diaspora remitted $22 billion (N7.92trillion) back home in 2017, a figure higher than the last Appropriation Bill of N7.44 trillion ($20billion).
The report revealed that the remittance, which is an African record and also the fifth largest remittance by immigrants around the world, was made possible by the continuous economic growth in Europe, Russia and USA.
The Countries with the highest remittance are India with $69 billion, followed by China ($64 billion), the Philippines ($33 billion) and Mexico ($31 billion) totaled $209 billion including Nigeria.
The lead author of the report, Dilip Ratha said:
“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.”
The Bank also revealed that payment immigrants made back to their home Countries hit a new record as the cost of transfer also increased, with the global average of sending $200, being 7.1%.
It also showed that Nigeria in sub-Saharan Africa remains the most expensive place to send money to, where the average cost is 9.4% ($18.80); N 6,768 in every $200 (N72,000) sent home.
World Bank urged the Countries to introduce more efficient technology to make easy the process of transferring money, which would in turn reduce cost.
In Africa, Egypt followed Nigeria closely with remittance of $20 billion. East Asia and the Pacific recorded the highest inflow of $130 billion, followed by South Asia receiving $117 billion, and Latin America with $80 billion.
The 2017 remittance is $1billion higher than what Nigerians in diaspora sent in 2015 which was $21billion.
The President had initially proposed a N7.298 billion budget in December 2016 but was raised by the National Assembly to N7.441 billion, before its final passage in May 2017.
In 2015, the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) said Nigerians living abroad have sent about $63.17billion equivalent of N10.35trillion to the country between 2011 and June 2014.
This fact goes in favour of those who argue that population is a gift rather than a curse, especially when properly put to use.
According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, there are 15 million Nigerians in the Diaspora.