By Yinka Kolawole, with agency report
The World Bank has reported that remittances by Nigerians in diaspora fell by 27.7 per cent to $16.8 billion in 2020 from $23.24 billion.
The World Bank disclosed this in a report titled, ‘Migration and Development Brief’, which also revealed that remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries fell by 1.6 per cent to $540 billion in 2020 from $548 billion in 2019.
The report, which provided updates on global trends in migration and remittances, revealed that remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa fell by 12.5 per cent to $42 billion in 2020, with Nigeria accounting for 40 per cent of the remittances into the subcontinent.
The report stated: “Remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa declined by an estimated 12.5 per cent in 2020 to $42 billion.
“The decline was almost entirely due to a 27.7 per cent decline in remittance flows to Nigeria, which alone accounted for over 40 per cent of remittance flows to the region.
“Excluding Nigeria, remittance flows to Sub-Saharan African increased by 2.3 per cent. Remittance growth was reported in Zambia (37 per cent), Mozambique (16 per cent), Kenya (nine per cent) and Ghana (five per cent),” the report stated.
On remittance costs, the World Bank noted that Sub-Saharan Africa remained the most expensive region to send money to, where sending $200 costs an average of 8.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020.
“Within the region, which experiences high intra-regional migration, it is expensive to send money from South Africa to Botswana (19.6 per cent), Zimbabwe (14 per cent), and to Malawi (16 per cent),” it stated.
The report noted that in spite of COVID-19, remittance flows remained resilient in 2020, registering a smaller decline than previously projected.
“Despite COVID-19, remittance flows remained resilient in 2020, registering a smaller decline than previously projected.
“Officially, recorded remittance flows to low and middle-income countries reached $540 billion in 2020, just 1.6 per cent below the 2019 total of $548 billion.”
The World Bank said that the relatively strong performance of remittance flows during the COVID-19 crisis also highlighted the importance of timely availability of data.
“Given its growing significance as a source of external financing for low- and middle-income countries, there is a need for better collection of data on remittances, in terms of frequency, timely reporting and granularity by corridor and channel.”