Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria has shown that money sent home by Nigerians living abroad dropped by 62 percent.
The drop in diaspora remittances, according to CBN website, showed that the total direct remittances stood at $1.96 billion in the first 10 months of 2021 compared to the $5.21 billion the country recorded during the height of COVID-19.
The remittance is worse when considering that pre-pandemic (2019) $19.2 billion was sent home in the first 10 months of 2019. The plunge, according to the report, was despite the ongoing Naira 4 Dollar Scheme initiated on 5 March to encourage the use of official means to send money back to Nigeria.
When the CBN introduced the policies, licensed international money transfer operators (IMTOs) were instructed to pay ₦5 for every $1 received as remittance inflow. However, the Naira, as at the time of the report, was trading at ₦410 when purchased legally, but it traded at ₦560 on the black market.
Breakdown of CBN data showed that in January 2021, $185 million was remitted, while in February, $452 million was the total direct remittance. While in March and April $227 million and $165 million were sent home respectively. The remittance dropped to $150 million in May; $378 million in June and $376 million in July 2021. For August and September, the apex bank reported $86 million and $224 million was remitted respectively. In October $51.74 million was sent home.