Nigeria’s $22b remittances receipt highest in 2017, says report

Image result for ICAEWNigeria has been adjudged the biggest receiver of remittances on the continent in 2017, an Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) report has said.

The Report, entitled, “Economic Insight: Africa Q3 2018,”made available to The Nation, said Nigeria received $22 billion representing 29 per cent  of total remittances that flowed into the continent mostly from the United States, United Kingdom  and the Gulf.

The accountancy body stated that despite the apparent economic slowdown, most African countries reported a positive economic outlook.

The report ranked Egypt as the second biggest receiver of remittances on the continent with $20 billion. One of the countries highlighted where remittance flows continues to play an important role in terms of external accounts, is Ghana.

Quoting World Bank reports, ICAEW said remittance inflows into Ghana in 2014 amounted to $2.5billion equivalent of about 18.6 per cent of total exports in the review period, while last year,  the remittance inflows declined to $2.2billion equivalent to 15.8 per cent of exports coming second to Nigeria in the region.

The report noted that despite remittances playing an important role in African economies, policies should focus on reducing the cost of remitting funds.

In terms of economic performance and GDP growth, the report added that, East Africa continues to be the continent’s best performing region with a GDP forecast at 6.3 per cent.  The positive outlook the report revealed is as a result of the region’s economic diversification and investment-driven growth.  For instance, Uganda’s economic growth was reported to have recovered remarkably last year and is expected to post a surplus of about 5.6 per cent of GDP this year, supported by project aid and remittances inflows.

It said: “Ethiopia remains the region’s powerhouse with growth forecast at 8.1 per cent, thanks to the recent reforms under new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.  In Central and West Africa, growth is forecast at 2.9 per cent. The report attributed the constrained growth in the region, to subdued non-oil economic activity in Nigeria, while Ghana by contrast, is the best performing country in the region with a forecast growth of 6.5 per cent”.

Regional Director, ICAEW Middle East, Africa and South Asia, Michael Armstrong, in his remarks observed that despite the recent growth slump; all regions in Africa are projected to report a positive economic outlook, with remittance income expected to be a key economic booster in the coming months.  He disclosed that growth in the franc zone is forecast at 4.6per cent largely driven by a boost of 7.4 per cent in the region’s biggest economy, Ivory Coast, where investment is driving rapid expansion.

He also stated that Egypt’s structural and policy reforms, which have boosted manufacturing and investment inched its growth forecast at 5.3 per cent while the county’s tourism sector has also continued to recover. Likewise, Libya, he further revealed, is expected to record a growth of 16.5 per cent, owing to posted improvements in oil production after the civil conflict.

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