Lagos/Johannesburg — Every month, Ifeyinwa Abel, the secretary of a Pentecostal church in Lagos, spends as much as a quarter of her salary sending money to pay for diabetes drugs to her mother 700km away in Abia Ohafia, a small agricultural village.

It isn’t easy. First Abel, 35, has to go to a bank branch in Lagos, the country’s commercial hub, and transfer 6,000 naira (R260) into the account of a friend in Ebem Ohafia, another town in Abia state. Then she has to pay 2,000 naira to 4,000 naira for her 65-year-old mother, Uche Arua, to get on the back of a motorcycle and ride 14km from her village to Ebem Ohafia to pick up the money...

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