Nigeria : Western Union, MoneyGram and the Nigerian Customer

Jan 22, 2001
betwixt and between
Website Consultant
Western Union, MoneyGram and the Nigerian customer
Thursday, January 25, 2007

Central Bank of Nigeria last week disclosed that the cumulative contributions of Nigerians in the Diaspora in 2006 was estimated at about $4.5billion.

Official statistics from the apex bank also showed that a large chunck of this inflow came in through the various international cash transmission companies operating in the country. This, for all intent and purposes, is a welcome development, as it contributed to the country’s economic growth in no small measure over the years.

Like in several industries, while there could be as many as 10 organisations currently engaged in the business, perhaps only two key players namely: Western Union and MoneyGram cash transfer services appear to have become household names in the nation’s financial setting as the others are still playing at the very fringe of the market.

From the look of things, First Bank of Nigeria Plc seems to be leading the consortium of banks flying the Western Union banner, while UBA Plc is leading the group of banks pitching on the MoneyGram platform.

Going by the volume of business and level of publicity campaign done by these organizations, no one is left in doubt that they have really enjoyed tremendous patronage from Nigerians within and outside the country, even when there exist an ample evidence to show that the cumulative effect of this relationship has helped several families meet some of their financial obligations at the home front.

For instance, it is on record that these inflows have assisted most families to build homes, in addition to providing on a regular basis for the upkeep of the relations and aged parents.

It is for this specialized service that some commentators believe that Western Union, MoneyGram and other cash remittance service companies can indeed, be said to have made significant contributions to the nation’s economy by facilitating the repatriation of funds from the Diaspora, even though they were always paid by consumers for such services.

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