• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
businessday logo


How Dubai firm is using investment migration to support Nigeria’s economy

How Dubai firm is using investment migration to support Nigeria’s economy

Smaller African economies like Mauritius and Namibia are using investment migration programmes to attract high-net-worth individuals to boost foreign investments.

Investment migration or immigration by investment is a process that allows individuals to gain citizenship or residence rights in return for investments in their host countries.

According to the latest Africa Wealth Report, the number of dollar millionaires in Mauritius grew by 87 percent from 2013 to 2023 and that of Namibia grew by 32 percent. But in Nigeria, it fell by 45 percent.

Read also: How Lagos attracted N50bn investments in one year Official

The decline in wealth for Africa’s most populous nation presents an opportunity for companies like Imperial Citizenship, which is launching Residency and Citizenship by Investment (RCBI) programmes in key African markets like Nigeria.

RCBI programmes have gained popularity in recent years as a means of obtaining residency and/or ultimately citizenship in another country by making a significant financial investment.

The Dubai-based firm, which specialises in investor programmes to obtain residence and also citizenship in several nations worldwide, expanded to Nigeria in April 2024.

“Africa’s flourishing HNWI population presents a remarkable opportunity. We recognise the challenges faced by these individuals, including limitations on travel freedom and a desire to diversify their wealth. Our RCBI programs offer a strategic solution, empowering them to become true global citizens,” Zaid Al Hindi, founder and CEO of Imperial Citizenship said in a statement.

He said by providing African HNWIs with the tools to navigate the globalised world, they are not only securing a brighter future for themselves but also contributing to the economic rise of the African continent as a whole.

A recent Knight Frank Wealth report predicts an 11 percent growth in Africa’s Ultra-high-net-worth individuals population by 2025. The World Bank forecasts Sub-Saharan Africa to be the world’s fastest-growing region economically over the next three decades.

Countries like Nigeria, Kenya, and Morocco are poised for explosive growth, attracting the attention of investment firms eager to tap into this burgeoning market, according to Imperial Citizenship.

“However, despite this wealth creation, Africa continues to grapple with the loss of skilled professionals. The UN states that migration from Africa has increased by 30 percent since 2010. PwC opines that a significant portion of the wealth from the region is managed internationally.”

It said BusinessWire reported that Nigerian UHNWI, for example, held 16.8 percent ($17.2 billion) of their assets outside Nigeria in 2015 in a bid to find better opportunities and more favorable conditions elsewhere. “Limited visa freedom for African passport holders further restricts their ability to participate fully in the global economy, company.”

Read also: Investment, job creation, others top discourse at Nigerian Diaspora summit in London

The global firm noted that the ability to travel and work freely is a key driver of investment for Africa’s growing HNWI class and that by offering solutions like citizenship in countries with visa-free access to major economic hubs; it empowers African entrepreneurs and investors to pursue global opportunities.

“This not only benefits the individuals themselves but also fosters knowledge transfer and potentially attracts further investment back to Africa. Imperial Citizenship’s expansion into Africa is mutually beneficial. African HNWIs gain access to solutions that address their specific needs, the firm taps into a rapidly growing market,” it said.

It added that this trend highlights a broader shift – a growing recognition of Africa’s potential not just as a land rich in resources, but as a vibrant economic powerhouse in the making. “While Africa’s economic future looks bright, challenges remain. Retaining skilled professionals and addressing limitations on visa freedom will be crucial for sustained growth.”