By Babajide Komolafe
Nigerians in Diasporas remitted $10 billion in 2008, indicating a 10 per cent increase to amount remitted in 2007, says a World Bank report.
The $10 billion inflow represents 4.7 per cent of the nationâ€™s gross domestic product (GDP) and puts Nigeria at number six among the top ten recipients of migrant remittances in the world. Other countries in the top 10 category in the descending order are India, China, Mexico, Philipines, Poland, Romania, Bangladesh, Egypt and Vietnam.
The report shows that despite the global economic meltdown which peaked in 2008, remittance to Nigeria by migrant workers have been increasing steadily in the past six years from $1.2 billion in 2002 to $9.98 in 2008.
This improvement according to the World Bank, is due to the fact that remittance flow to Nigeria is diversified in terms of destinations. â€œWith Nigerians emigrants in sectors such as healthcare that have been less affected during the current crisis than cyclical sectors such as construction.â€
Globally, remittances rose from $385 billion to $444 billion while remittances flow to developing countries rose to $337 billion from $289 billion.
The World Bank report also indicates that while remittances are expected to fall in 2009Â due to the biting effect of the global crisis, the decline would be less than expected, with remittances to Nigeria declining slightly to $9.58 billion in 2009.