By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives has mandated it’s Committees on Diaspora, Banking and Currency, National Planning and Economic Planning to investigate the actual amount of remittances made by Nigerians in Diaspora between 2016 and 2019.
The committees are to interface with the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission, the Central Bank of Nigeria, Money Transfer Operators and other stakeholders in the execution of the assignment.
The House resolution came on the heels of a motion titled “Need to Ascertain Nigeria in Diaspora Remittances and Its Impact on the Nation’s Economy” moved by Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe at Tuesday plenary.
While moving the motion, Sadipe told the House that that Egypt and Nigeria accounted for the largest inflows of remittances into Africa in 2018 with Nigeria leading on the Continent in terms of remittance receipts in 2017.
Quoting the United Nations official records, the lawmaker said there are 1.24 million migrants from Nigerians in the diaspora.
He said: “The House also notes that the estimates that migrants remitted to Nigeria could grow to US$25.5 billion, US$29.8 billion and US$34.8 in 2019, 2021 and 2023 respectively and over a 15-years period, total remittances flows to Nigeria would grow by almost double in size from US$18.37 billion in 2009 to US$34.89 billion in 2023;
“Concerned that since many transactions are underscored or take place through informal channels, the actual amount of remittance that flows into the country is arguably higher; as in 2018, Diaspora remittances to Nigeria was equaled to US$25 billion representing 6.1% of the GDP which also represented 14% year-on-year growth from the US$22 billion received in 2017;
“Cognizant of the strategic importance of Nigerians in the diaspora, the federal government in 2017 established the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) to engage and utilize their human, capital and material resources in the socioeconomic, cultural and political development of Nigeria;
“Aware of reports by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that remittances from Nigerians in the Diaspora rose from $3.24 billion in 2013 to approximately $25.08 billion in 2018, a raise of 126% in 6 years amounting to an estimated $96.5 billion sent to the country.”
Adopting the motion, the House gave the committees 4 weeks within which to to the investigation and report back to it further legislative action.