I wrote about the exodus of Nigerians to Canada. Today, I am writing on HUGE remittance into Nigeria, from Americas, Europe and Asia. PwC estimates that Nigerians in diasporas remitted back to their mother/fatherlands a whopping $25 billion in 2018. Hello, that is just about the 2019 Nigerian budget! Go figure.
It is a serious issue and one I do not have the moral fiber to discuss since I also resigned a job and left for America many years ago. Yet, because commenting is free, I will go ahead. There is a big exodus happening in Nigeria right now, and the destination is Canada. When I say exodus, I mean real type like the one described in the recorded Exodus. Lol.
And while the FDI has been yo-yo (not up, not down), remittance increased 14% from 2017 numbers. As always, in global trade and commerce, equilibrium points will keep changing. Yes, as the doctors, engineers, etc leave the shores of Nigeria, and do better in their new domains, they are at many levels building the nation. Any business that is growing at double digit (here 14%) cannot be written away. Sure, we still have to deal with the exodus because a doctor in my village cannot be quantified on remittance dollars because doctors do scientific miracles.
Nigerians in Diaspora sent an estimated $25 billion in remittance to the country in 2018, representing 6.1% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, a PricewaterhouseCoopers Economic Outlook Report disclosed.
Nigeria’s migrant remittance inflow was also 7 times larger than the net official development assistance (foreign aid) received in 2017 of $3.359 billion, while the figure translates to 83% of the Federal Government budget in 2018 and 11 times the Foreign Direct Investment flows in the same period.
I did note here that besides the exodus, Nigeria can WIN – it is partly winning.
So, any illusion that more salaries to workers either in the private or public sector will stop the tide is nothing but trivializing an important matter. Yet, if managed properly, emigration is not all bad: Nigerian diasporas are helping to fund new companies, bringing new capabilities and business networks back home. We need to find an equilibrium point for the competitiveness of our nation.
The devil is always in the details. The billions of dollars being mentioned largely go to family upkeep: feeding, hospital bills, school fees, real estate, etc. It is not the money to build road infrastructures, railways, airports, schools, hospitals, energy sector, etc; so the quagmire continues…
If you have two large corporations with minimum of 10000 skilled workforce each, with the supporting SMEs that feed into that, the country and its people will certainly feel the impact; more than billions of dollars sent to families via remittances. Herein lies the problem, to build a great nation requires deep thinking and lots of sacrifices; it was never meant to be straightforward with seemingly easy escape routes.
In the meantime, the beneficiaries of the remittances must remain afloat, while men and women get to work in figuring out how to transform Nigeria.