The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that the official inflows of the remittances of Nigerians living abroad to the country was $2.6 billion and not $26 billion as quoted in some quarters.
The apex bank cleared the air after some experts argued that amount had not really impacted positively on the economy.
Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, who queried the sources of the data being referenced by critics, dismissed the representations as fraught with inaccuracies as he alleged that some people appeared to have misrepresented the transactions that constituted diaspora remittances.
He explained that the data, purported to be from the World Bank had also been queried by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the CBN, as it did not reflect the actual amount of inflows from Nigerians living abroad.
He said, “We are looking for the so called $26 billion diaspora cash because such cash will impact positively on our reserve. Understanding the methodology through which the data was sourced could provide an insight into why critics’ diaspora figures might be off the target.”
Meanwhile, a former Minister of Finance, Anthony Ani, had queried the huge sum alleged to be missing through diaspora remittances.
Ani, who alleged massive foreign exchange laundering in banks, explained that in 1995 the Ministry of Finance reviewed the country’s sources of foreign revenues and found that nothing was coming in from Nigerians in the Diaspora, whereas India and Jamaica were living on foreign exchange from their citizens abroad.
“The fact is that the Diaspora remittances are not retained in Nigeria and there is a collaboration between the CBN, Nigerian banks and Western Union/MoneyGram; in such an event, government must investigate the infraction, punish the money launders, and recover all past Diaspora remittances retained abroad!”