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TheWorldBankhasestimated that remittance inflows into Nigeria increased to $17.6billion this year from $17.21billion last year. The bank, which stated this in its “Migration and Development Brief 35” released yesterday, also said that remittance inflows to sub-Saharan Africa returned to growth in 2021, increasing by 6.2 percent to $45 billion. It added that “Nigeria, the region’s largest recipient, is experiencing a moderate rebound in remittance flows, in part due to the increasing influenceof policiesintended to channel inflows through the banking system.”
Furthermore, the Bretton Woods institution stated: “Remittances to low- and middle-income countries are projected to have grown a strong 7.3 percent to reach $589 billion in 2021. This return to growth is more robust than earlier estimates and follows the resilience of flows in 2020 when remittances declined by only 1.7 percent despite a severe global recession due to COVID- 19.” According to the bank, “the exceptional size of the Nigerian migrant base (an estimated 800,000 persons) concentrated in two key host countries, the United States (375,000) and the United Kingdom (220,000)” ensures that Nigeria continues to dominate remittance inflows into sub-Saharan Africa.
It stated that the signs of a modest pickup in officially recorded inflows to Nigeria support a positive regional forecast given that “economicrecoveryinEuropeandthe United States in 2021—just as most sub-Saharan African counties suffered significant debt difficulties and anemic growth—should enable and incentivize increased economic and altruistic remittance flows from the large African diaspora.”
The World Bank predicted that despite easing economicgrowthinhostregions of the world, and continued uncertainty regarding the course of the pandemic, remittance receipts in sub- Saharan Africa will accelerate in 2022, on the back of a gradual movement toward the use of official channels for inflows to Nigeria. Specifically, it stated that “following the country’s (Nigeria) substantial adjustment of 2020, there are now signs that recent policy changes may be achieving some traction. For example, an increase in official remittances of 2.5 per cent in the first half of 2021 contrasted with the same period of 2020. An anticipated 7.3 per cent increase in remittances during 2022 would carry Nigerian receipts to $19 billion, still well below the average $23 billion that characterised the immediate pre-pandemic period.” On remittance costs, the bank stated: “Sub-Saharan Africa remains the costliest region to send remittances to: costs averaged 8 percent during Q1’21, down from 8.9 per cent from Q1’20.”