COVID-19 wiped $ 5 billion in diaspora remittances, FG says

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THE federal government has said the COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out 20% of Nigeria’s $ 25 billion annual diaspora remittances.

The government noted that various targeted programs were being implemented to address the deficit.

Disclosing this during a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday to announce the 2021 Diaspora Day celebration scheduled for July 25, Nigerians Diaspora Commission Chairman Abike Dabiri-Erewa said the shipments Home funds accounted for over 83 percent of the national budget and 6.1 percent of the gross domestic product.

The World Bank said remittances from Nigerians in the diaspora fell 27.7 percent in 2020. It also placed remittances to the country in 2019 at $ 21.45 billion.

She explained that remittances serve as economic buffers and safety nets for families for school fees, food, hospital bills and many other social support systems.

According to her, 30 percent of remittances go to investments, including real estate, commercial enterprises and others.

Responding to a question about the impact of the pandemic on remittances, Dabiri-Erewa said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced annual diaspora remittances by 20%, but remember that we also offer different programs.

“The remittances are actually used to support families, but we have targeted diaspora programs, especially housing that would be unveiled on that day. “

The NIDCOM president stressed that the nation could not afford to ignore the roughly 17 million Nigerians living outside the nation’s sovereign borders, sending home remittances of around $ 25 billion annually.

She noted that the celebration of National Diaspora Day 2021 on the theme: “Diaspora integration for national peace and development”, would be anchored on peace to accelerate the engagement of the diaspora for the national growth and development, adding that no nation has succeeded in an atmosphere of insecurity, hatred and divisive tendencies. .

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, Dabiri-Erewa explained that Diaspora Day 2021 would be celebrated via a webinar and would include the presentation of the recently approved National Diaspora Policy, the nomination of laureates for the proposed National Diaspora Merit Award, presentation of the Diaspora Investment Summit Initiative, among other activities.

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retired) and other dignitaries, including United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Dr Amina Mohammed; the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and others will address the participants.

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