Remittance among Immigrants: Nigerians in Diaspora

4 min readFeb 27, 2020

International remittances are money sent by a person (migrant) in a foreign country to his or her home country. According to the UN, about 1 in 9 people globally are supported by remittances from migrant workers and these remittances are key to helping millions out of poverty.

Using 2017 census records and total recorded remittances in 2017 to estimate the annual remittance per migrant for the countries surveyed, we made an intriguing discovery:

Nigerian migrants are not remitting the highest total volume, but they leave other migrant demographics in the dust when the annual remittance per migrant is considered.

See the chart below for USA and UK remittances (check the data for data of other countries at the end of the article):

***Note that this data only tracks formal remittances.

While formal remittances have gained traction over the years, they do not reflect the true amount, as many migrants still resort to peer-to-peer exchanges, sending cash through friends and families etc to send money to their home countries.

One of the most common reasons why Nigerians send money home is to assist their families and loved ones. Nigeria is a communal country and the success of one is usually counted as the success of others. It is not uncommon to find that a migrant Nigerian worker is paying the fees of several siblings in their home country.

Another reason Nigerians send money home is for investments. The remittances are used to purchase property and other forms of investment for their later years and as insurance for when they return home.

The bulk of remittances to Nigeria are done by working-class Nigerians. These Nigerians are likely to be upwardly-mobile, fully employed, some taking up to 2 jobs, and the most common industry is the service industry. Most of these Nigerians are educated to at least tertiary level and are fluent in English.

Remittances are strongholds of the developing world’s economy. They have become of the largest source of international financial funding to these countries. In Nigeria, they help buoy flagging foreign exchange reserves as well. Most importantly, in times of economic hardship in these countries, these remittances have helped improve the living condition of the inhabitants of these countries.

Despite these advantages, the cost of formal remittance has remained astoundingly high, making it difficult for the struggling migrants to afford. Nigerian migrants, for instance, pay one of the highest fees for remittance despite being one of the countries with the highest average remittance per migrant.

More than ever, it is important to create safer, cheaper and easily accessible ways that will facilitate the easy movement of these funds. Kaoshi is empowering Nigerian banks like Sterling Bank and First Bank with financial technologies that enable them to provide disruptively cheaper and better remittance services ($0-$1 flat fee) to the Nigerian migrants.

Our technology leverages Open Banking API to enable Nigerian banks to attend to the financial needs of Nigerians in the diaspora. Kaoshi is revolutionizing the diaspora banking industry. Kaoshi exists to ensure that these hard-earned funds reach their intended destinations securely and cheaper than currently obtainable.

Charts of Annual Remittances from Other Countries


1. USA immigrant population numbers: Pew Research

UK Immigrant population numbers: ONS

Other immigrant population numbers: Migration Policy

Remittance volumes: Pew Research

2. Countries surveyed;

Origin of funds: US, UK, Canada, France, Spain, Germany, Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia.

Destination of funds: Nigeria, China, India, Pakistan, Mexico, Brazil, Ghana, Egypt, Philippines, Morocco,

Jamaica, Kenya, Indonesia, Colombia, Honduras, Senegal, Guatemala




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