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article imageNigerians living abroad remitted $11 billion in 2011

By JohnThomas Didymus     Dec 5, 2011 in World
Lagos - A World Bank report says Nigerians living abroad remitted $11 billion in 2011. This figure published in a World Bank report on global migration makes Nigeria the world's seventh biggest recipient of remittances to home country by citizens living abroad.
According to the report:
“Remittance flows to developing countries are expected to total $351 billion this year, and worldwide remittances, including those to high-income countries, will reach $406 billion for the current calendar year. While the economic slow down is dampening employment prospects for migrant workers in some high-income countries, global remittances, nevertheless, are expected to stay on a growth path and, by 2014, are forecast to reach $515 billion. Of that, $441 billion will flow to developing countries."
The report titled Remittance Flows 2012 to 2014, listed the top four global recipients of remittances as India ($58 billion), China ($57 billion), Mexico ($24 billion) and the Philippines ($23 billion). The other top recipients in order of the amount remitted to respective home countries were Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Egypt and Lebanon.
The report noted that the depreciation of currencies of some large migrant-exporting countries (such as Mexico, India, Bangladesh and Nigeria) created additional incentives for remittances as goods and services in these countries became cheaper in U.S. dollar terms.
Remittance flows to Sub-Saharan Africa and other developing regions have been growing faster than expected: 7.4 percent to Sub-Saharan Africa, 11 percent to Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 10.1 percent to South Asia and 7.6 percent to East Asia and the Pacific.
Some regions experienced lower than expected growth in remittance flows. Latin America and the Caribbean, for instance, posted lower than expected growth rates due to continuing weakness in the U.S. economy, while in the Middle East and North Africa, civil conflict and unrest affected remittance flows from abroad.
The Word Bank report said, however, that persistent unemployment in Europe and the U.S. is affecting employment prospects of migrants, and hardening political attitudes toward new immigration. Uncertainty about the "direction of oil prices also presents further risks to the outlook of remittances." Vanguard reports that Dilip Ratha, manager of the World Bank's Migration and Remittances Unit, and co-author of the report, said that government policies in Europe and America were unlikely to disrupt remittances in the short and medium term, but may have effects in the long term.
Another factor that is helping to boost growth of remittances growth, according to Dilip Ratha, is the steady fall in remittance costs from 8.8 percent in 2008 to 7.3 percent in the third quarter of 2011. This, Ratha said, was due to increasing competition in large volume remittance corridors such as the UK-Nigeria, the UK-India.
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