The annual diasporan remittances to Nigeria have dropped by 20 per cent from $25bn as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday to announce the 2021 Diaspora Day celebration scheduled for July 25.
In May, the World Bank said Nigeria’s diaspora remittance flows declined by 27.7 percent in 2020, pushing remittances in Sub Saharan Africa down by 12.5 percent. It had also put remittances into the country in 2019 at $21.45bn.
Dabiri-Erewa noted that about 17 million Nigerians live outside the nation’s sovereign boundaries, adding that the home remittances ($25 billion annually).
According to her, the home remittances are over 83 per cent of the national budget and 6.1 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product.
Dabiri-Erewa noted that various targeted programmes were being implemented to shore up the deficit.
The 2021 edition of National Diaspora Day, ‘Diaspora integration for national peace and development,’ will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the dignitaries billed to speak at the event are President Muhammadu Buhari, the United Nations deputy secretary-general, Amina Mohammed and the director-general of the World Trade Organisation, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.