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Experts identify challenges as diaspora remittances Hit $114.07b In 7 Years

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Even though Nigeria’s diaspora remittance has hit $114.07b (about N43.4t) in the last seven years, stakeholders, yesterday, insisted that the payment would drastically increase if prevailing challenges are addressed.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) had stated that remittances from Nigerians in Diaspora rose from $3.24b in 2013 to approximately $25.08b in 2018. The rise showed a 126 per cent increase in six years (2013-2018). The total remittance within the period stood at N96.5b.

Nigeria received $17.57b in direct diaspora remittances in 2019, bringing the total amount remitted to $114.07 in seven years.

Coming at a time when African migration has been rising steeply, a whooping $48b was remitted to Sub-Saharan African countries in 2019.

But the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tingo Mobile, Dozy Mmobuosi, noted that the cost of sending money to Africa must drastically drop, especially if the remittance is projected to maintain a steady increase.

In 2019 alone, with nine per cent average transaction fee for the region, Africans sending money home were charged $4.3bn in 2019.

Mmobuosi, a tech expert and author noted that African migration has been rising steeply in recent years, a development, which would continue to fuel the growth of cross-border flows.

According to him, African oriented payment solutions like Tingo Remit, which is focusing on simplifying the process of sending money abroad, provides low-cost, high-speed, reliable and secure online international money transfer service as a cost-effective and convenient alternative to traditional money transfer companies.

With such initiative, Mmobuosi expresses the belief that the continent, especially Nigeria would meet United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly goal three 10.

“As we begin to see a larger aging population and more of the Gen Z population seeking careers in the UK, the US, and other countries I believe we will see a significant spike in remittance in-flows. Tingo is perfectly positioned to capture the growth in the sector and will continue to expand its offering in line with the needs of our customers,” he said.

Mmobuosi decried challenges facing corporate foreign direct investment into the country’s growing economy as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has embarked on FX rationing and exchange rate adjustments, among other measures.

“The CBN and Nigerian Government should consider making it more attractive for companies to do business in Nigeria, not less,” Mmobuosi stated.

Segun Ajibola, a Professor of Economics, at Babcock University, who sees technology as a critical tool in improving remittance, however, insisted that technology may not remove the human-related challenges.

He called on the government to address the bottlenecks in the sector, stressing that, “there has to be flexibility in remittance.”

He said more Nigerians living in diaspora would invest in the country if the government addresses prevailing challenges, especially in the area of ease of doing business.

Nigerian-born Temitope Ogunsemo, who is the founder of Krystal Digital also stressed the need to address the barriers.


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