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Nigerians Abroad Send Home $168bn Under Buhari’s Presidency

Nigerians abroad remitted $168 billion during President Buhari’s tenure from 2015 to 2022, supporting Nigeria’s forex reserve and mitigating foreign exchange scarcity impacts.

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Nigerians Abroad Send Home $168bn Under Buhari's Presidency

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Summary:

  • Nigerians abroad remitted $168 billion during President Buhari’s tenure from 2015 to 2022, supporting Nigeria’s forex reserve and mitigating foreign exchange scarcity impacts.
  • Forex reserve increased by 18.4% from $29.07 billion in 2015 to $34.43 billion in 2023, with Diaspora remittance as a top non-oil foreign exchange source.
  • The Central Bank of Nigeria implemented proactive policies, such as the Naira 4 Dollar Scheme and partnerships with IMTOs, to encourage remittance growth during Buhari’s administration.

A recent World Bank report has disclosed that Nigerians in the Diaspora remitted a staggering $168.33 billion to their home country between 2015 and 2022.

These remittances have played a significant role in cushioning the adverse effects of foreign exchange scarcity and maintaining Nigeria’s forex reserve.

A Breakdown of Remittance Figures

The World Bank’s data revealed the following yearly remittance figures:

  • 2015: $21.2 billion
  • 2016: $19.7 billion
  • 2017: $22 billion
  • 2018: $24.31 billion
  • 2019: $23.81 billion
  • 2020: $17.21 billion
  • 2021: $19.2 billion
  • 2022: $20.9 billion (estimated)

These remittances have been crucial in keeping Nigeria’s forex reserve afloat, despite fluctuations in foreign investments inflow during the same period.

“Nigeria’s Diaspora remittances have played a huge contribution in cushioning the adverse effects of foreign exchange scarcity and keeping the country’s forex reserve afloat.” – World Bank report

World Bank report
the national flag of nigeria
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Remittance Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa

According to the World Bank, remittance flow to sub-Saharan Africa grew by 5.2% in 2022, reaching $53 billion, with Nigeria receiving the largest share. The country has experienced a sustained increase in Diaspora inflows since 2021, thanks to several new policies implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Forex Reserve Growth under Buhari’s Administration

As of April 19, 2023, CBN data showed that Nigeria’s forex reserve stood at $34.43 billion, an 18.4% increase from the $29.07 billion recorded in 2015. The World Bank acknowledged Diaspora remittance as one of the top sources of non-oil foreign exchange for Nigeria in 2022.

Key Policies Contributing to Remittance Growth

The CBN has implemented several policies to encourage remittance growth, including:

  1. The introduction of the Naira 4 Dollar Scheme, which incentivizes recipients of remittances by offering them a bonus of ₦5 for every US dollar received.
  2. Allowing International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) to partner with local banks and other financial institutions to facilitate seamless remittance transactions.

These initiatives have contributed to the increased remittance flows into the country.

In conclusion, the substantial remittances from Nigerians abroad have played a vital role in maintaining Nigeria’s forex reserves and alleviating the impacts of foreign exchange scarcity. The CBN’s proactive policies have further encouraged this trend, demonstrating the importance of engaging with the Nigerian Diaspora community in driving the country’s economic growth.

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