The World Bank said remittance inflows to Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan Africa countries soared 14.1 per cent to $49 billion in 2021 following an 8.1 per cent decline in the prior year.
The World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief released at the weekend said recorded inflows showed that Nigeria was the largest recipient country in the region.
The country gained 11.2 per cent, in part due to policies intended to channel inflows through the banking system.
Growth in remittances was supported by strong economic activity in Europe and the United States.
The report projected that in the year, remittance inflows are projected to grow by 7.1 per cent driven by continued shift to the use of official channels in Nigeria and higher food prices – migrants will likely send more money to home countries that are now suffering extraordinary increases in prices of staples.
The cost of sending $200 to the region averaged 7.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of the year, a small decline from 8.2 per cent a year ago.
The bank said recorded remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are expected to increase by 4.2 per cent this year to reach $630 billion. This follows an almost record recovery of 8.6 per cent in 2021.
Remittances to Ukraine, which is the largest recipient in Europe and Central Asia, are expected to rise by over 20 per cent in the year. However, remittance flows to many Central Asian countries, for which the main source is Russia, will likely fall dramatically. These declines, combined with rising food, fertiliser, and oil prices, are likely to increase risks to food security and exacerbate poverty in many of these countries.
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine has triggered large-scale humanitarian, migration and refugee crises and risks for a global economy that is still dealing with the impact of the COVID pandemic,” said Michal Rutkowski, Global Director of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank.
“Boosting social protection programs to protect the most vulnerable, including Ukrainians and families in Central Asia, as well as those affected by the war’s economic impact, is a key priority to protect people from the threats of food insecurity and rising poverty.”