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...Read more >