The Migration and Remittances Factbook 2016 said about $21 billion was sent home by Nigerians in diaspora in 2015, making the country the sixth largest receiver of remittances in the world last year. Nigeria was also by far the largest receiver of remittances in Africa, with a total of $34.8 billion last year.
The report was compiled by the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development with support from the World Bank, German, Swedish and Swiss governments and relied on data gathered from January to December 1, 2015.
Africa receives billions of dollars in cash from its diaspora, a recent study had shown. Remittances is a significant source of financing on the continent, supporting families and driving investment.
The World Bank disclosed that remittances play an important role in poverty reduction and improving human development. An Average African migrant supports between 10 to 100 people, which goes a long way in boosting household income and spending on healthcare and education.
The report said:
“Improving the business climate in Africa is another means to attract remittance flows from the Diaspora. A business-friendly environment may induce African migrants to send more money to their home countries and invest in productive domestic projects.
At a macro level, flows of remittances could improve the balance of payments and bolster a country’s foreign exchange reserves. By stimulating savings, remittances can also have an impact on financial development and foster long-term economic growth. Since remittances generally accrue to low-income households, the latter may be induced to save a portion of these flows, thereby connecting them to the formal financing system. Furthermore, remittances could be a catalyst for investment and economic growth by supporting small business start-ups.”