Breaking: Nigeria’s half year direct remittances drops by 21% to $952 million – CBN

Data released by the Central Bank of Nigeria has revealed that the country received a total of $952 million as direct remittances from Nigerians abroad between January and June this year. 

The apex bank disclosed this in its International Payment just released. The half-year 2023 remittances, however, represent a 21% decline compared to the $1.210 billion recorded in the same period last year.  

A monthly breakdown of the data showed that Nigeria recorded $79.2 million in remittances in January 2023.  In February, total remittances increased slightly to 83.8 million, while $138.6 million was recorded as total direct remittances in March.  

In April, the country received $150 million as direct remittances, while the inflow increased to $202.9 million in May. For June 2023, total direct remittances to the country stood at $297.5 million.  

No cause for alarm 

While there have been concerns over the decline in total remittances to the country despite the surge in the number of Nigerians relocating abroad, Partner, Chief Economist, and Head of Research at KPMG Nigeria, Dr Yemi Kale, said there may not be any cause for alarm now. Total direct remittances to the country in 2022 stood at $2.16 billion, a threshold the country could still hit or surpass if remittances improve in the second half of the year.  

According to Kale, the decline in remittances in the half year could be attributed to several factors including the general elections held early in the year. 

  • “The decline is probably due to election uncertainty and the CBN cash and forex drama in Q1. I won’t be bothered till I see Q3 and Q4,” he said.  

Forex sources 

Direct remittances come into the country via the International Money Transfer Operators, banks, among others. According to the recently suspended CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, there are four major sources of FX inflow into Nigeria. He said these include proceeds from oil exports, proceeds from non-oil exports, Diaspora remittances, and foreign direct/portfolio investments. 

Last year during the launch of ‘The RT200 FX Programme’ to boost forex supply in the country through the non-oil sector in the next three to five years, Emefiele had said that policies and measures introduced Diaspora inflow and remittances from an average of $6 million per week in December 2020 to an average of over $100 million per week by January 2022.