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Remittance inflows to Nigeria declined by 28% in 2020 – World Bank

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The World Bank says remittance inflows to Nigeria declined by 28 per cent in 2020 because of COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bank also said remittance flows fell for Sub-Saharan Africa by 12.5 per cent, according to its Migration and Development Brief 33 Phase 11 entitled: “COVID-19 Crisis Through a Migration Lens’’ published on Thursday.

The report said the decline in remittance flows to Nigeria was largely responsible for the fall in remittance flows to Sub-Saharan Africa.

“The decline in flows to Sub-Saharan Africa was almost entirely due to a 28 per cent decline in remittance flows to Nigeria.

“Excluding flows to Nigeria, remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa increased by 2.3 per cent, demonstrating resilience,’’ the report stated.

According to the report, the relatively strong performance of remittance flows during the COVID-19 crisis has also highlighted the importance of timely availability of data.

It stated that given its growing significance as a source of external financing for low- and middle-income countries, there was need for better collection of data on remittances.

It emphasised that there was need for better collection of data on remittances, in terms of frequency, timely reporting, and granularity by corridor and channel.

The report quoted Dilip Ratha, lead author of the report on migration and remittances, as saying “the resilience of remittance flows is remarkable. Remittances are helping to meet families’ increased need for livelihood support.

“They can no longer be treated as small change.

“The World Bank has been monitoring migration and remittance flows for nearly two decades, and we are working with governments and partners to produce timely data and make remittance flows even more productive.”

With global growth expected to rebound further in 2021 and 2022, however, remittance flows to low- and middle- income countries are expected to increase by 2.6 per cent to 553 billion dollars in 2021 and by 2.2 per cent to 565 billion dollars in 2022.

The report stated that global average cost of sending 200 dollars remained high at 6.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020, more than double the Sustainable Development Goal target of three per cent.

It stated that Sub-Saharan Africa continued to have the highest average cost (8.2 per cent) adding, supporting the remittance infrastructure and keeping remittances flowing includes efforts to lower fees.

In addition, it stated that the decline in recorded remittance flows in 2020 was smaller than the one during the 2009 global financial crisis (4.8 per cent).

It was also far lower than the fall in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows to low- and middle-income countries, which, excluding flows to China fell by over 30 per cent in 2020.

As a result, remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries surpassed the sum of FDI (259 dollars billion) and overseas development assistance (179 dollars billion) in 2020.

The main drivers for the steady flow included fiscal stimulus that resulted in better-than-expected economic conditions in host countries, a shift in flows from cash to digital and from informal to formal channels, and cyclical movements in oil prices and currency exchange rates.

The true size of remittances, which includes formal and informal flows, is believed to be larger than officially reported data, though the extent of the impact of COVID-19 on informal flows is unclear.

“As COVID-19 still devastates families around the world, remittances continue to provide a critical lifeline for the poor and vulnerable,” said Michal Rutkowski, Global Director of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank.

“Supportive policy responses, together with national social protection systems, should continue to be inclusive of all communities, including migrants.”

In addition, it stated that the relatively strong performance of remittance flows during the COVID-19 crisis had also highlighted the importance of timely availability of data.

“Given its growing significance as a source of external financing for low- and middle-income countries, there is a need for better collection of data on remittances, in terms of frequency, timely reporting, and granularity by corridor and channel’’.

The World Bank is assisting member states in monitoring the flow of remittances through various channels, the costs and convenience of sending money, and regulations to protect financial integrity that affect remittance flows.

It is working with the G20 countries and the global community to reduce remittance costs and improve financial inclusion for the poor. (NAN)

 

 

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SON insist on international best practices, set-up committee to audit, certify education sector

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In ensuring that educational management system in the country deliver on their mandate of impacting knowledge and skills, the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) has inaugurated national technical committee for adoption and certification of education management standards.

At the inauguration in Abuja, Farouk Salim, Director General of SON, said one of the challenges facing Nigeria has been international standards both in products and services delivery, which is why the organisation is aligning to best international practice.

“One of SON mandate is to support all businesses in determining quality of products/services using ; standardization, certifications and quality assurance. As such our decision to adopt this international standard on educational organizations management system ISO 21001:2018 is apt at this time when we have opened our borders to all forms of trade with other African countries.

“It is important that we promote and sustain our learning institutions by ensuring that the services that are provided in our schools meet the needs of learners, promote equal opportunities for all students and earn the confidence and approval of learners’ sponsors in order to contribute their quota to national growth and development,” he said.

Salim, represented by Engr. Timothy Abner, Director Training services at the SON added that although government is doing a lot to upgrade the standard of products and the education sector, he however also noted there should be additional effort of adopting and establishing this international best practice will assist Nigeria to always deliver globally recognized services and products in different sectors of the economy.

The Committee is to draw up requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of educational organizations management systems.

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Senate summons CBN Governor over naira fall

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…proceeds on annual recess till Sept. 20 
The Senate, on Wednesday, resolved to summon the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, to educate and inform senators in a closed session on the reasons for the rapid depreciation of the value of the naira.
It also mandated the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions to assess the impact of CBN intervention funds meant to support critical sectors of the economy.
The resolutions were reached by lawmakers after the upper chamber considered a motion sponsored by Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi (APC – Ekiti North).
The motion was entitled, “State of CBN Intervention Funds and Free Fall Of Naira.”
Coming under Order 41 and 51 of the Senate Standing Order, as amended, Adetunmbi bemoaned Nigeria’s economic reality amid an urgent call for “extraordinary measures”.
He noted that the CBN through its numerous multi-sectoral intervention funds, provided special funds to support critical sectors of the economy.
He explained that in view of such interventions, it had become necessary to assess the state of implementation and effectiveness of the funds deployed for the purpose.
The lawmaker, recalled that the CBN in 2021, placed an indefinite halt on forex bidding by Bureau de Change operators (BDCS) and importers over allegations of abuse and mismanagement.
He observed that the halt by the CBN resulted in a spike of the exchange rate.
According to Adetunmbi, “the two instruments of Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and Business Travel Allowance (BTA) could only serve less than 20% of the total forex demand by travelers and businesses.”
He expressed worry that the import and export window meant to serve the forex needs of business giants, “has become a rare opportunity that only a privileged few can access.”
“These and a number of others have contributed to the excessive scarcity of forex in Nigeria today”, he added.
He noted that as at the 26th of July 2022 (yesterday), the exchange rate in the autonomous segment (BDCS) of the foreign exchange market is N670 to 1 United States Dollar and projected to end at N1000 by end of the year based on the current rate of depreciation.
He, therefore, advised the Central Bank to take new measures to curb forex scarcity and address the sliding rate of Naira exchange.
In his contribution, Senator Sani Musa (APC – Niger East), faulted the Central Bank’s decision to halt foreign exchange biddings, thereby cutting off the parallel market – Bureau de change operators.
According to him, the attempt by the CBN to control the value of the naira with the continuous exclusion of BDCs would only lead to its further depreciation.
He, therefore, advised the apex bank to rather ensure the regulation and monitoring of the parallel market.
“What CBN used to do was to give out $10,000 (USD) to each of these BDCs with a clear directive for it not to be sold above N470 as against the $419 exchange rate. It worked.
“But today, nobody is determining where the rate is going and I can assure you we can’t have that solution because we are only importing”, he said.
On his part, Senator representing Katsina North District, Senator Ahmad Babba-Kaita, said one way to improve the value of the naira was to encourage foreign investments to attract inflow of other currencies into Nigeria.
“The only way we can access the dollar will be determined by other economies and not ours”, he noted.
He, however, attributed the lack of foreign investments into Nigeria on the poor security situation caused by banditry, terrorism and other criminal activities.
The Senate, in its resolutions, called on the CBN to urgently intervene to stop the rapid decline in the value of the Naira vis-à-vis the Dollar and other international currencies.
It also mandated the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions to conduct an assessment of CBN intervention funds and the declining value of Naira to come up with sustainable solutions.
The Senate, at the end of Wednesday’s proceedings, adjourned plenary till September 20th, 2022, for its annual recess.
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Buhari seeks Senate’s nod on four re-appointed nominees as Directors of CBN board

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CBN Headquarters Abuja
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The Senate, on Tuesday, received a request from President Muhammadu Buhari, to confirm the re-appointment of four nominees as Non-Executive Directors of the Board of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The request was contained in a latter dated 21st July, 2022, and read at the start of plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.

The President, in the letter, explained that the request to confirm the nominees was made in accordance with Section 10(3)(a) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act 2007.

The nominees for confirmation include: Prof. Mike Idiahi Obadan (South South), Prof. Justitia Odinakachukwu Nnabuko (South East), Prof. Ummu Ahmed Jalingo (North East), and Mr. Adeola Adetunji (South West).

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