Added: Bernardo Tom - Date: 20.08.2021 15:49 - Views: 49053 - Clicks: 2711
Dapo has spent too long at home in Lagos, Nigeria. A wealthy Nigerian, Dapo, who is in his late 30s, does not want to make himself identifiable by giving his surname and age, lest it draw unwanted attention. I can leave for there any time. Not that he has any special love for Malta.
Golden visas are the lesser-reported side of the Nigerian migration story. Every year thousands of Nigerians make their way to Europe via perilous crossings over the Sahara and Mediterranean. Now their wealthier counterparts are also making their way to Europe but via a different route. Fear of political uncertainty at home and hope for better opportunities elsewhere.
But has been exceptional. Kuti says he has believed for some time that social unrest would boil over in Nigeria, because of issues of poverty and police brutality. Citizenship or residency abroad has become appealing, he adds. As a financial adviser to the wealthy, Kuti knows the process of applying for one having walked clients through it before. But now they are asking about foreign citizenships and Kuti himself is tempted by the idea. Many, like Kuti, saw political problems ahead and wanted an escape plan.
Others were focused on coronavirus: What if the pandemic overwhelms Nigeria? It was in July, when the of COVID cases in Nigeria escalated, that wealthy Nigerians started looking more seriously at citizenship abroad, experts say. For the wealthy, this is too much hassle. Instead, why not purchase the citizenship of a country with visa-free access to Europe? Bimpe, a wealthy Nigerian who also does not wish to give her full name, has three passports.
But now that she has retired in Abuja, Bimpe, whose husband has passed away, wants her three adult sons to have the same opportunities to travel and live abroad. They are young graduates, wanting to explore the world. Like most countries offering their citizenship for sale, Grenada allows real estate investments to qualify for a passport. He loves it here. The second one lives in England. My youngest — for him, living abroad is a very, very attractive option.
Bimpe believes his career opportunities in acting — he studied Drama in the UK — are better abroad, and therefore considers the Grenada citizenship to be a worthwhile investment. Neither Bimpe nor her sons have ever been to Grenada even though their investment allows them to stay on the Caribbean island, once known as The Spice Island. The Six Senses La Sagesse is being constructed by Range Developments, whose founder and managing director, Mohammed Asaria, says it is not unusual for investors never to visit.
In fact, since there is no obligation for citizenship investors to visit Grenada, interest in the scheme has ballooned among Nigerians. There are million people [in Nigeria].
It is a similar story across the Caribbean. Arton Capital, a citizenship advisory group, says demand from Nigerian families for Antigua and Barbuda citizenship is up 15 percent this year compared with the last. St Lucia has also seen a record of Nigerians applying in The citizenship market is not exclusive to the Caribbean, but these are the cheapest and they maintain that all-important visa-free access to Europe that their clients are hankering after. Much of that money finds its way to the Caribbean, as was highlighted in the leaked documents that formed part of the Panama Papers in The tax benefits of an overseas citizenship are undoubtedly attractive.
In Europe, Malta has long been courting hedge funds with its light-touch regulations. Being a citizen of a country with a more stable currency is also appealing to the wealthy. Pull up a graph of the Naira. Better, therefore, in the minds of the wealthy, to own assets in euros or even East Caribbean dollars which are pegged to the US dollar.
Grenada and Turkey are popular for clients wanting quick access to Europe, he adds, while some go straight for the UK Innovator Visa which means setting up a business in the UK. The loss of wealth from Nigeria has severe Single rich woman in Antigua And Barbuda for levels of employment in the country. With wealthy businesspeople investing their capital outside Nigeria rather than in it, there is less funding for local businesses or government projects which might otherwise generate employment.
This, in turn is causing more poorer Nigerians to want to move overseas as well, in search of better work opportunities, a trend backed up by the findings of a survey by Afrobarometer, the data analysis group. Just before the pandemic struck, Kingsley Aneoklloude, 35, was able to make his way to Europe, but via a very different route. The salary was poor but the final straw was police brutality. Aneoklloude was briefly employed as a local election monitor during the presidential elections.
He says he was pressured by representatives of a political party to manipulate ballot papers, but refused, after which he became afraid for his safety. First, he went to Kano State in the north of Nigeria. Now in Potsdam, Germany, he is waiting to hear the outcome of his application for new citizenship and a job. At 35, Aneoklloude is just a few years younger than Dapo. Both have witnessed police brutality from different angles, and both saw the Mediterranean as their way out.
It is a dangerous spiral: The more wealth taken out of Nigeria, the fewer jobs available to its poorest. I went under cover to expose high-ranking Cypriot politicians willing to help a convicted criminal get a passport. Powerful lobby and the prize of foreign investment casts doubt on a lasting end to citizenship-by-investment. By Ollie Williams. To Europe, via the Caribbean Bimpe, a wealthy Nigerian who also does not wish to give her full name, has three passports. Tourists take photographs down a typical street in Valletta, Malta in [File:Getty Images] Being a citizen of a country with a more stable currency is also appealing to the wealthy.
Where rich and poor migrants meet The loss of wealth from Nigeria has severe implications for levels of employment in the country. In a photo frommigrants fleeing from Libya on an overcrowded wooden boat wait to be rescued in the Mediterranean Sea [File: AP] First, he went to Kano State in the north of Nigeria. How I exposed the politicians willing to sell passports in Cyprus. More from Features.
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