Robert Zoellick, World Bank President
From Tokunbo Adedoja in New York
With $11 billion remitted by Nigerians in the Diaspora in 2011, Nigeria is among the top ten recipients of migrant remittances, a new report released by the World Bank has said.
According to the report titled, "Migration and Remittances Brief 17", the top ten recipients of remittances among developing countries are India ($58 billion), China ($57 billion), Mexico ($24 billion), Philippines ($23 billion), Pakistan ($12 billion), Bangladesh ($12 billion), Nigeria ($11 billion), Vietnam ($9 billion), Egypt ($8 billion), and Lebanon ($8 billion).
The report, which was prepared by the Development Economics (DEC) and Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) network, said officially recorded remittance flows to developing countries were estimated to have reached $351 billion in 2011, up by eight per cent over the $325 billion recorded in 2010.
It also noted that for the first time since the global financial crisis, remittances flows to all six developing regions rose in 2011 beyond projections in four regions, including sub-Saharan Africa where strong South-South flows and weaker currencies in some countries attracted larger remittances.
Remittances flows to Latin America and the Caribbeans, and Middle East and North Africa, according to the report, were lower than projected due to continued weakness in US economy and Spain in the case of the former, and impact of the Arab Spring, in the case of the latter.
Also, while remittance costs had fallen from 8.8 per cent in 2008 to 7.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2011, its continued to remain high in Africa and in small nations where remittances provide a life-line to the poor.
The report projected that following the rebound in 2011, the growth of remittance flows to developing countries is expected to continue at a rate of seven to eight per cent annually to reach $441 billion by 2014.
It further projected that worldwide remittance flows, including those to high-income countries, are expected to exceed $590 billion by 2014.
It however added that volatile exchange rates, uncertainty in oil prices, and persistent unemployment in Europe and United States, with the prospects of tougher immigration policies, could affect these projections.