NOVEMBER 4, 2016 – In five years, Nigerians in the diaspora remitted to the Nigerian economy S77.06 billion (about N23.5 trillion), according to the National Migration Policy report of 2015.
The remittances were made in bits for the five years of 2005, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013.
The report was published for the Nigerian government by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) with funding provided by the European Union (EU) under the 10th European Development Fund programme on “Promoting Better Management of Migration in Nigeria.”
The document which was made available further stated: “The total volume of remittances transferred globally to developing countries far exceeds Overseas Development Assistance [ODA]. Nigeria is the largest recipient of remittances in Sub-Saharan Africa with receipts of approximately 65 per cent of officially recorded remittances into the region and two per cent of global flows, quoting statistics from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).”
The report noted that while remittances are private funds used by migrants’ families to meet daily needs such as health, education and food, they are also invested in improvement to homes, purchase of landed property and entrepreneurial pursuits.
‘‘Strategies should be developed to encourage Nigerians in the diaspora to invest remittances through efficient formal channels at low transfer cost, as well as to encourage senders and recipients to invest part of their savings.
“Preferential interest rates on savings and opportunities for direct foreign investments for commercial entrepreneurial and other productive activities by the diaspora and the recipients of remittances should be encouraged,’’ the report stated.
According to the document, the development only showed that Nigerians in the diaspora are active and resourceful population, an indication that the country has an active working population out there.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Sadiya Umar Farouq has expressed gratitude to the Swiss government for supporting the second in a series of the national migration dialogue with $450 million. The event is scheduled to hold in December 2016.
Represented by Amina Ibrahim at a two-day workshop held in Saminaka, Kaduna State, Farouq said that the Swiss government had demonstrated concrete commitment to issues of migration management in Nigeria.
‘‘There are two issues that are immediate priorities and we intend to take them concurrently. One is to design a very practical and durable solution programme that may have a life span of three years to provide the various reintegration options for the IDPs in Nigeria.
And the other is to facilitate the domestication of the Kampala Convention through the NCFRMI Enabling Act as well as pursue the approval of the National IDPs Policy which will provide a framework for sharing responsibilities among other various actions,’’ she said.