Brexit threatens remittances to Nigeria from UK —LCCI

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday said the exit of Britain from the European Union might take a toll on remittances to Nigeria from her citizens leaving in the United Kingdom.

Nigerians in the Diaspora sent back home $21bn in 2015, making the country the sixth largest receiver of remittances in the world, according to a report by the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development with support from the World Bank.
Brexit, according to the LCCI in an emailed comment, has a number of immediate and remote implications for the Nigerian economy.

The Director-General, LCCI, Mr. Muda Yusuf, said “The British economy, which is worth $3tn, is the fifth largest economy in the world and the second largest within the EU.

“It is, therefore, a major component of both the global economy and that of the EU. Naturally, therefore, shocks to the British economy will have some transmission effects on the global economy.”

On the Diaspora dimension, Yusuf said the current sentiments in the UK were to adopt tougher stance on immigration issues.

He said, “We have over one million Nigerians in the UK; Nigeria is also a major recipient of Diaspora remittances in Africa. Therefore, the unfolding scenario may have some adverse implications for remittances to Nigeria from the UK.

“This will happen from the perspectives of tougher immigration regulations and enforcement as well as the likely slowdown of the British economy.

“On the whole, the impact of Brexit on the Nigerian economy is unlikely to be profound. Besides, negotiations will still take the next two years. Most of the current responses are driven by uncertainties and expectations, which will fizzle out in the not too distant future.”

Highlighting the trade effect of Brexit, he said Britain accounted for only 4.4 per cent of Nigeria’s global trade, while the EU accounted for 38.8 per cent.

Yusuf added, “It is, therefore, unlikely that the Brexit will have a material impact on our balance of trade situation.

“If anything, the trade between Nigeria and the UK could be further improved on account of the likely depreciation of the British pound and the affinity with Britain within the context of the Commonwealth.”



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