WorldRemit: Diaspora Remittances Helped to Send 200,000 Children to School

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A new research from the digital money transfer service WorldRemit shows that tens of thousands of Nigerian children are in school, have access to books and educational supplies, and are more likely to study and less likely to work due to international remittances.

Nigeria is the largest remittance-receiving country in Africa, with annual figures now at a record $25 billion. The new research reveals the wide-ranging benefits of remittances to children’s education.

The findings were calculated using data from UNESCO, the World Bank and Nigeria’s latest national household survey. Approximately 220 million children are not in school in low and middle income countries. Of these, over 12 million live in Nigeria, one of the highest numbers of out-of-school of children in the world.

The research showed that: approximately 200,000 children in Nigeria are in school as a result of receiving international remittances; children in Nigeria are 40 per cent less likely to be out of school if their household receives remittances; remittance-receiving households spend more on education – equivalent to a child’s set of school-books for 1.5 years; and children in remittance-receiving households spend less time working on non-school activities, freeing up more time for school studies.

WorldRemit also calculated that globally, if traditional, cash-based money transfers were replaced by lower-cost digital alternatives, an additional $825 million would be unlocked for families to spend on children’s education. Savings from “going digital” could pay for the equivalent of 20 million school uniforms, 30 million school books and 16 million sets of school supplies for children in low and middle income countries.

The Country Director, Nigeria at WorldRemit, Pardon Mujakachi said: “As millions of children in Nigeria start a new school year, our research is a timely reminder that the contributions of the diaspora are vital to the education of 200,000 children across the country. Switching to digital remittances would help maximise that even further. With global remittances predicted to rise in 2019, even more children are set to benefit.”

WorldRemit is one of the leading digital money transfer companies for the Nigerian diaspora. Customer surveys reveal that education is one of the top priorities for Nigerians living abroad, with many saying they support the schooling of children back home.

WorldRemit customers complete 1.3 million transfers every month from over 50 countries to over 145 destinations. More than half of its transfers go to Africa.