Nigerian migrant workers contributed $18.956 billion as remittances in 2016, representing 5.2 per cent growth in nine years, a United Nation’s agency has said. The report, titled ‘Sending Money Home: Contributing to the SDGs, One Family at a Time’, was published on Wednesday.
According to the report, global migrant workers sent back to their home countries $445 billion in 2016, a contribution that lifted millions out of poverty.
Figures from the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development said by sending money home, about 200 million migrants have supported some 800 million family members globally.
Women make up about half of all remittance senders, and it is believed that this trend can help advance gender equality and women’s empowerment through financial independence and better employment opportunities.
The report noted that remittance flows have grown over the last decade at an average rate of 4.2 per cent annually, from $296 billion in 2007 to $445 billion in 2016. The report said the top 10 sending countries, led by the U. S., Saudi Arabia and Russia, account for almost half of annual flows, adding that up to 80 per cent of remittances are received by 23 countries, led by China, India , the Philippines, Mexico and Pakistan.
Giving details of the remittance transfer method, cash-to-cash remains the most common form, while mobile phone networks, internet- based tools and digital money in various forms present a potentially transformative force for sending and receiving money, the report said.
It, however, explained that the most important objective going forward should be to leverage the potential development impact on the receiving side by providing families who are beneficiaries with better opportunities to use their money productively for growth and sustainable development.