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Weekly diaspora remittances rise to $100m, says Emefiele

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Diaspora remittances to Nigeria rose from $5m per week in June 2020 to over $100m per week in October 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria has said.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said this while giving his keynote address at the 56th Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria Annual Bankers Dinner in Lagos on Friday.

He said, “Our current account deficit has narrowed significantly, from a huge deficit of 4.53 per cent of Gross Domestic Product in the fourth quarter of 2020 to negative 0.44 per cent of GDP in the second quarter of 2021 due to a surplus position in the goods account.

“The surplus position in the goods account is due to a reduction in imports, increase in crude oil and gas export receipts, and improvement in remittance inflows.

“Remittance inflows have been supported by our naira for dollar programme, and we have seen a surge in remittance inflows from over $5m per week in June 2020 to over $100m per week in October 2021.”

While explaining the impact of COVID-19 on the banking sector, he said the sector remained robust and sound due to prompt response by the Central Bank of Nigeria in order to prevent an economic crisis from spilling over into a financial crisis.

Emefiele said the banking sector continued to consolidate on the gains of the recovery from the 2016 and 2017 recession.

He said,  “Although we saw some fragilities in the system, they constituted limited risks. Prudential indicators such as NPLs stood at 5.4 per cent in November 2021, while the CAR remained above 15 per cent indicating continued resilience of our banking system.”

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