At the end of the first four months in 2019, Nigeria has recorded a total sum of $6.5 billion in total direct remittances, against $2.42 billion reported during the corresponding period in 2018, the latest data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed.
The Apex bank international payment data, however, showed that February of this year has the highest total direct remittances while March has the lowest.
The breakdown of the figure indicated that total direct remittance into the country in January was $1.89 billion, but increased to $1.92 billion in February. Before declining to $1.12 billion March and closed at $1.56 billion in April.
The Daily Times checks, however, note that the total direct remittance according to CBN in 2018 settled at $11.23 billion but with the current figure as of April this year, indications are rife that 2019 will record more in total direct remittances.
Meanwhile, the central bank had licensed 58 International Money Transfer Operators (IMTO) and monitors legitimate foreign currency, most especially Dollar inflow into the country since February this year.
Also, commercial banks and oil companies also remit foreign currency to the CBN.
Among operators licensed by CBN were MoneyGram, Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), Fluterwave technology Solutions limited, PagaTech Limited, Western Union, Swift Payment and TCF Limited.
Others are Small World Financial Services Group, Weblink International limited Cashpot limited, DT&T Corporation Limited and Corporation limited and Fiem Group LLC, and DBA Ping Express, CP Express limited.
The CBN had mandated financial service providers to be duly licensed in order to protect customers and the financial system; that international money transfer operators are required to remit foreign currency to their agent banks in Nigeria for disbursement in Naira to beneficiaries.
The CBN said that interested applicants should forward their request for licensing under the CBN 2014 Guidelines on International Money Transfer Services in Nigeria.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) had estimated that a total of $25.08 billion was remitted by Nigerians in diaspora into the country last year.
This represents about 14per cent increase from 2017 and 83per cent of the federal government’s 2018 budget in value.
This is almost $3 billion higher than the World Bank’s previous estimate which, at $22 billion, placed Nigeria with the highest remittance in-flow in Africa and fifth-highest globally, behind the likes of India, China, Philippines and Mexico in that order.
Majority of the remittance into Nigeria is coming in from the United States, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, China among others.
But according to online remittance service, Azimo the region that made the highest remittance to Nigeria in 2017 was Europe with $8.1 billion, higher than other top senders like the United States, other African countries and Arab states.
Remittance inflow has been on a steady increase for the last six years except in 2016 when it dropped by approximately seven per cent.