The Federal Government says a total of $25 billion was remitted in 2018, representing 83 per cent of Nigeria’s total budget in 2019 and worth 6.1 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, disclosed this at the National Diaspora Day Celebration in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the figures reflected World Bank’s Migration and Remittances report released in April 2018.
According to the report, Nigerians in diaspora remitted $22 billion in 2017, 10 percent more than the $19.64 billion remitted in 2016.
He noted that remittances were equivalent to 5.6 percent of GDP in 2017 and higher than the $20 billion generated from crude oil revenues in the same year.
“This money is presently utilised as social security funds to families (school fees, feeding allowances and hospital bills). Some of it is invested in housing and estate development, hospital projects, schools and commercial enterprises. There is an urgent need to galvanise this into an investment fund for development,” he said.
According to him, exposure to a working system and global technology has empowered Nigerians abroad, therefore, they are the right connectors to propel government’s economic recovery and growth plan.
“We therefore call on you to key into this; be the vanguard for its implementation. I encourage the Nigerians in the diaspora to engage with Nigeria at the wider macro-economic level, especially in the organised private sector,” the SGF said.