If you are a frequent debater on national issues on social media, you could easily see that some Nigerians in Nigeria always find it worthy to talk down on fellow citizens in diaspora. You could come across words like ‘ come back home and help your country’, ” you cannot stay in your cozy house or apartment in London or New York and tell us this or that’. Sometimes the exchange gets very nasty and almost like telling those fellow citizens abroad that they do not contribute to the economy of the country. One should take a look at these figures and compare it with the national budget or state budgets, and one could see that it is indeed a very big chunk of our national economy. So, our citizens in diaspora do indeed immensely contribute financially to our national economy. Let us also remember that this is just the amount recorded and not those carried by our citizens through airports that were in one way or the other not declared. Also, other means used to send money home without due or proper documentations. I would put the figure to at least double of what is being remitted per annum by Nigerians.
Nigerians in Diaspora Sent Home $21 Billion in 2015
By Nicholas Ibekwe
With about $21 billion sent home by Nigerians in diaspora in 2015, the country is the sixth largest receiver of remittances in the world, the Migration of Remittance Factbook 2016 has shown.
The country is also by far the largest receiver of remittances in sub-Saharan Africa, receiving a total of $34.8 billion this year.
The report, which relied on data gathered from January to December 1, 2015, was compiled by the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development with support from the World Bank, German, Swedish and Swiss governments.
An analysis of the report by PREMIUM TIMES also shows that the United States and the United Kingdom are by far the most lucrative destinations for Nigerian migrants. Nigerians at home received a total of $9.4 billion ($5.7 billion from the US and $3.7 billion from the UK) from both countries in 2015.
The report also shows that the cost of sending money within Africa is the second most expensive in the world (the most expensive being the cost of sending money between Australia to the South Pacific country of Vanuatu).
For every $200 remitted from South Africa to Zambia, senders are charged 19 per cent. The cost is 17.4 per cent to send the same amount from South Africa- Botswana and 17.3 per cent from Tanzania to Uganda.
In comparison, it cost just 0.6 per cent to send the same amount of money from Saudi Arabia to Nepal and 3.1 per cent from the United Arab Emirate to anywhere in the world.
According to the report, Nigeria is the third most preferred destination for migrants in Africa after South Africa and Ivory Coast.
Nigeria is the fifth emigration country in the continent behind Somalia, Burkina Faso, Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.
The report observed that 2.5 per cent (23.2 million) of the total population of sub-Saharan Africa are migrants.
The study showed that Africa is by far the choicest destination for African migrants. 84.6 per cent of African migrants are living within the region.
While 4.2 per cent African migrants are found in high-income countries such as the US and in the European Union.
The top 10 migrant destinations in the world, the report revealed, are the US (46.1 million), Saudi Arabia (14.6 million), Germany (11.1 million), Russia (11 million), United Arab Emirate (8 million), UK (7.8 million), France (7.5 million), Canada (7.4 million), Spain (6.6 million) and Australia (6.5 million).