NIGERIAN diasporans remitted $65.34bn back home over the three year period between 2018 and 2020 according to a recent report from the World Bank which showed that remittances accounted for 4$ of gross domestic product (GDP) last year.
According to the World Bank data, in 2018, the Nigerian diaspora remitted $24.31bn and the following year in 2019, this dropped to $23.81bn and then to $17.21bn in 2020. Since 2008, India has been the largest recipient of diaspora remittances as it reaps from its large pool of technology experts who are sought after abroad but of late, Nigeria has been catching up.
In 2017, the chair of the Nigeria Diaspora Commission Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, had said there were about 15m Nigerians in various parts of the world. According to the International Monetary Fund, remittances are household income from foreign economies arising mainly from the temporary or permanent movement of people to those economies.
Remittances include cash and noncash items that flow through formal channels such as electronic wires, or through informal channels, such as money or goods carried across borders. According to the IMF, remittances help poorer recipients meet basic needs, fund cash and non-cash investments, finance education, foster new businesses, service debt and essentially, drive economic growth.
In July 2027, the federal government signed the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission Establishment Bill into law after recognising the strategic importance of the diaspora. This law established the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, which was set up to engage and utilise the human, capital and material resources of this demography in the socioeconomic, cultural and political development of Nigeria.
Hon Dabiri-Erewa was appointed as the first chairman and chief executive officer of the commission and in 2019, the federal government went a step further by recognising July 25 of every year as National Diaspora Day. To increase official channels of diaspora remittances, the Central Bank of Nigeria recently rolled out a number of measures in the face of dwindling foreign exchange from other sources.