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June 26, 2018

Whither remittances in the Nigerian economy?

In the conversation about the diversification of the Nigerian economy, a favourite statistic is the overwhelming share of oil and gas in merchandise exports. The share in 2017 was 92 percent but falls to 57 percent when we expand the cake to all current-account inflows. Remittances provided 30 percent of the enlarged total, with the small balance made up of credits on the services and income accounts as well as non-oil exports. Annual remittances are running at about US$22bn, or in naira terms about three-quarters of total spending in the 2018 budget. Put another way, this represents about US$1,200 per head for the diaspora estimated at 18 million Nigerians. This is a stable inflow, unlike portfolio investment or even development assistance. There are seasonal variations, notably a peak every year...

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May 28, 2018

Korea (South): Turn on the lights!

We attended the annual meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Busan (South Korea) last week, and can report...

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May 2, 2018

The case for not so small government

The physical infrastructure was no better then than it is now, and banks’ lending was no more diversified. Yet earlier...

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March 26, 2018

A warning from the IMF on borrowing for productive investment

Rex Tillerson, the then US secretary of state, made some punchy criticisms of Chinese lending policy in Addis on 08...

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