‘Nigerians spend 16 per cent yearly income at Christmas’
World ranking of countries that spend more during Christmas holidays has placed Nigeria among the top 14, with Nigerians spending an average of 16 per cent yearly income during the period.
WorldRemit, a multi-country study to determine the true cost of Christmas in 14 countries, estimated that the majority of Nigerians spend more on holiday costs, attending to traditional Christmas meals, decorations and gifts.
In the study, WorldRemit researched basic Christmas costs— including the main holiday meal, average gift spends and decorations.
The 14 countries include the United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, Philippines, Mexico, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Rwanda, Cameroon, Nigeria and Uganda.
Of the 14 countries observed, data showed Rwandans are most impacted by the disparity between average household income and holiday costs, spending 708 per cent of their monthly income and nearly 60 per cent of their annual income on the holiday.
Nigeria spends nearly one-fifth (16 per cent) of its yearly income. Majority of Nigerian households spend 196 per cent of their monthly income on Christmas.
Six countries observed –Mexico, Lebanon, Philippines, Cameroon, Nigeria, Rwanda – spend 100 per cent or more of monthly income on Christmas.
Meanwhile, Filipinos spend 257 per cent of their monthly income on the holiday. In the region, Christmas celebrations begin in September and extend into January, making it challenging for many families to afford the basic costs of Christmas. Without remittances into countries like the Philippines, celebrating Christmas would be near impossible.
More than 244 million people are classified as immigrants worldwide and account for large percentages of populations in countries like the United States (14.4 per cent of the total population) two, UK (nine per cent), Australia (30 per cent) and Canada (21.5 per cent).
During the holidays, immigrants and overseas foreign workers are often unable to celebrate with their families’ in-person and find them working to support not only themselves but also their families and communities back home.
Christmas is one of the primary reasons immigrants and migrants send money back to their home country. Because of the high cost of coveted seasonal items, food, and the overall impact COVID has had on supply chain and inflation, it is vital for remittance senders to be able to support those dearest to them by helping make Christmas a reality for their loved ones.
For example, of the 14 countries observed that typically receive remittances, 10 spent more than 50 per cent of their monthly household income on the holiday.
A holiday that would be impossible without remittances, the season of giving becomes vital, where the world’s largest send markets typically only spend less than three per cent of their annual income on the holiday.