Diaspora remittances fall 6.28% to $282.61 million in Q1 2024 amid CBN’s reforms

Nigeria recorded $282.61 million as total direct foreign exchange (FX) remittances in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024.

The figure represents a decrease of $18.96 million or 6.28% compared to the $301.57 million diaspora remittances recorded in Q1 2023.

This is according to international payment data from the website of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Nigeria’s direct foreign exchange remittance refers to money transfers from other countries to family members or other individuals in the country.

The CBN data covers direct diaspora remittances into Nigeria facilitated through international money transfer operators (IMTOs).

Breakdown of remittance payments

  • January 2023 saw remittances totalling approximately $79.19 million. In contrast, January 2024 experienced a substantial increase, with remittances reaching nearly $138.56 million. This represents a growth of approximately 75% year-over-year for the month of January alone.
  • February 2023 recorded remittances of about $83.76 million, whereas February 2024 saw a significant decline to just $39.15 million. This sharp decrease of more than 53% in February’s remittances year-over-year suggests a pronounced volatility in remittance inflows during this month.
  • March 2023 was a strong month with remittances peaking at $138.63 million. However, March 2024 experienced a decrease, with remittances totalling $104.91 million, which is a drop of approximately 24% compared to the previous year.

The year-over-year data reveals fluctuations that could be influenced by economic factors, policy changes, or other external variables affecting remittance flows during these periods.

CBN grants approval in principle to 14 new IMTOs

The CBN activated plans to double foreign-currency remittance flows through formal channels by granting 14 new (IMTOs) Approval-in-Principle (AIP), according to the Bank’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Mrs. Hakama Sidi Ali on Wednesday.

She said: “We are wasting no time driving progress to remove any bottlenecks hindering flows through formal channels permanently. We have a determined pathway and a sequenced approach to tackling all challenges ahead, working hand in hand with key stakeholders in the remittance industry.”

Sidi Ali noted that increasing formal remittance flows will help the historical volatility in Nigeria’s exchange rate caused by external factors, such as fluctuations in foreign investment and oil export proceeds.

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