Ireland: Fact check: Were Noel Grealish’s figures for money going to Nigeria accurate? - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Ireland Fact check: Were Noel Grealish’s figures for money going to Nigeria accurate?

19:05  13 november  2019
19:05  13 november  2019 Source:   independent.ie

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Mr Grealish used the Leaders’ Questions slot in the Dáil on Tuesday to raise the issue of personal remittances and said that Nigeria had in the past He said his figures were taken from a World Bank report. The comments saw Mr Grealish accused of “racism” and prompted Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

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Noel Grealish standing posing for the camera: Noel Grealish questioned the sources of money sent by Irish residents to Nigeria (PA) Noel Grealish questioned the sources of money sent by Irish residents to Nigeria (PA)

INDEPENDENT TD Noel Grealish claimed €3.54bn was sent to Nigeria from this country in the past eight years – but the truth is there’s no way of knowing.

The remittance figures quoted by the Galway representative in the Dáil were based on information published by the World Bank.

While it is an internationally recognised organisation and works with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Irish government believes their remittance statistics are not credible.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the figures relating to money flowing from workers in Ireland to households in Nigeria are “open to serious scrutiny”.

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Noel Grealish asked if Revenue had method of ensuring money was not proceeds of crime. During Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil on Tuesday the Galway West TD said a “staggering” amount of money had been sent abroad through personal transfers with the largest remittances going to Lithuania (€

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The Bank bases these calculations on estimates provided by the Nigerian authorities rather than actual data.

According The World Bank’s  Bilateral Remittance Matrix 2019, the top destinations for money transfers from Ireland are Nigeria (€489m), the UK (€245m), Poland (€210m), France (€145m), Lithuania (€119m) and India (€104m).

Mr Grealish quoted figures close to these in his Dáil contribution on Tuesday – but what he didn’t mention was another set of figure he had already been supplied with by the Government.

On October 27, Mr Grealish received a written reply to a parliament question which outlined the information on remittances compiled by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

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Noel Grealish said the money was being sent to countries like Poland and Nigeria . Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he did not know where Mr Grealish was going with this question and that Irish people had always historically sent money home from the US.

Galway West TD Noel Grealish has been accused of “disgraceful racism”, of using I remember my grandmother – all her family went to America – telling me about the cheques coming from the Mr Grealish was heckled by a number of TDs, including Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger, who told him “you

It estimates worker remittances paid from Ireland as a small component of the current account of the balance of payments.

The body puts the amount of money going to Nigeria every year at €17m, although this also cannot be totally stood over.

The CSO figures suggest the levels of annual remittance to countries including Poland (€342m), Lithuania (€92m) and India (€43m) are much higher than to Nigeria.

In a statement today, the CSO admitted: “Remittance information is difficult to compile for National Statistics Offices and is usually based on administrative sources and modelling rather than direct collection.

“The current CSO data are estimated using Revenue data. Pay of non-national workers is used to estimate disposable income and to derive a remittance amount.”

The approach using indirect data sources is recognised as a standard approach in the IMF Guide for Compilers and Users of International Transactions in Remittances

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Noel Grealish asked if Revenue had method of tracking source of this money to ensure it was not proceeds Independent TD Noel Grealish has been accused of racism after he questioned the source of But he said that €3.54 billion going to one non-EU country is “astronomical” and he asked if the

It was the quizzical glances among TDs that was most immediately striking as Noel Grealish posed his question from a written script. In particular, he drew a distinction between the money going to European Union countries and the remittances sent to Nigeria .

However, the CSO is currently investigating new approaches to deriving remittance information.

On balance though, it appears that the World Bank figures are much more questionable than those presented by the CSO.

Mr Vardakar said: “We believe our statistics are the accurate ones and not those of the Nigerian authorities.”

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