The Nigerian economy has received funds of about $77 billion from its citizens who have migrated overseas in the five-year periods of 2005, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013. This was revealed by the report of the National Migration Policy of 2015.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) prepared this report for the Government of Nigeria with the financial assistance from the European Union. This was under the programme “Promoting Better Management of Migration in Nigeria,” sponsored by the tenth European Development Fund.
AllAfrica.com said that the report, which was shared with The Guardian, also acknowledged that the transfer of funds to the developing nations by the overseas citizens was much more than the Overseas Development Assistance. Nigeria is the highest beneficiary of the overseas funds’ transfer in the Sub-Sahara African region. It receives around sixty-five percent of the formally documented funds transferred in the region and two percent of the international receipts, according to the data of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
As per the report, the fund transfers were utilised by the families of immigrants for day-to-day needs such as healthcare, food and education. The funds were also spent for improvement of houses, for buying lands and industrial purposes.
The report suggested that Nigeria must formulate policies that promote overseas immigrants to invest funds from resourceful official means that have lower costs of transfer. It must also suggest the recipients and senders divest a part of their savings for investment.
There must be provisions for direct overseas investments for businesses, industries and commercial initiatives by immigrants through favourable interests on savings. Immigrants making transfers and the receivers of the funds must be encouraged to involve themselves in entrepreneurial initiatives.
The report also stated that this was an indicator that overseas Nigerians are contributing considerably to the nation’s economy.
Sadiya Umar Farouq, Commissioner for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, has, meanwhile, expressed his gratefulness to the Government of Switzerland for providing assistance of $450 million to the second series of the national dialogue on migration. This is being held in the month of December.
Amina Ibrahim, who represented Farouq at the seminar held in Kaduna State, said that this was an expression of real dedication by the Government of Switzerland towards the management of migration in Nigeria.