Banks in Nigeria are encouraging their clients to accept remittances in dollar from relations abroad for a reward.
The scheme which was introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria seeks to offer a reward of five naira for every $1 sent by Nigerians living abroad through international money transfer operators in the country.
The scheme is to be called “naira for dollar” and an attempt to shore up the country’s revenue streams.
Diaspora remittances to Nigeria totalled $25bn in 2019 but dipped to just over $5.3bn in 2020, according to data from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
With Covid-19 yet to be subdued there are concerns revenue from remittances will dip this year.
The Nigerian authorities are hoping the new scheme will help those in the diaspora send money home.
In 2018 when Nigeria recorded $23.5bn in remittances, it was 83% of that year’s budget, 6.1% of the GDP.
That volume of remittances was 11 times higher than the foreign investment flows in the same period, according to management consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The central bank hopes to rake in at least $2bn monthly in diaspora remittances in 2021 with this new scheme.
Local banks are already running promotions asking citizens to receive more dollars from relations abroad through their money transfer platforms.