PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on Tuesday said in its latest report that migrant remittances to Nigeria could grow to US$25.5bn, US$29.8bn and US$34.8bn in 2019, 2021 and 2023 respectively.

Over a 15-year period, PwC expects total remittance flows to Nigeria to grow by almost double in size from US$18.37 billion in 2009 to US$34.89 billion in 2023.

The PwC report is an analysis which shows the critical importance of the diaspora to Nigeria’s economy.

“The recently established Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) led by Abike Dabiri-Erewa, indicates that the Federal Government recognises the strategic importance of the Nigerian diaspora.

“The key next steps for the newly established Commission is to formulate and execute a strategy to maximise the benefits of Nigeria’s diaspora.

“In addition, we’re very keen to see State Governments start to engage the diaspora. The primary benefits of remittances to recipient households is the improvement in their general welfare, and studies show that 70% of remittances are used for consumption purposes, while 30% of remittance funds go to investment-related uses.

“So it is important that Nigeria has a diaspora strategy both at the national and state level”, the report said.

Nigeria accounts for over a third of migrant remittance flows to Sub-Saharan Africa. Egypt and Nigeria account for the largest inflows of remittances into Africa in 2018. In 2017, Nigeria led the Continent in terms of remittance receipts but dropped to second place behind Egypt in 2018.

For four consecutive years, official remittances have exceeded Nigeria’s oil revenues. Since many transactions are unrecorded or take place through informal channels, the actual amount of remittance flows into the country is arguably higher.