• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

Sights on Mauritius as B&I advises clients on this new tax haven

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More Nigerian investors and investments advisers are taking a keen interest in the development of economic trends in Mauritius; which is presently considered a tax haven.

At a breakfast meeting organised recently by the duo of Nigerian law firm Banwo & Ighodalo (B&I) and Abax Corporate Services; a Mauritius based multi-disciplinary professional services firm with a strong focus on Africa, key actors of the financial services industry and the business community expressed optimism at opportunities opening up in Mauritius – A country with excess liquidity, offers little or no tax liabilities – no tax on capital gains, no withholding tax, no control on foreign exchange.

The event which took place at the prestigious Radisson Blu hotel in Victoria Island Lagos, provided participants a unique opportunity to learn about Mauritius; acquiring a better understanding of its tax, legal and regulatory regimes, as well as share ideas and network.

Speaking to LEGALBUSINESS about the focus of the meeting, the firm’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Kemi Ajayi explained that the event was an informative one aimed at enlightening the firm’s clients and other targeted guests with recent developments in Mauritius.

The audience was noticeably made up of Financial and investment advisers, bankers, a wide array of High Net worth individuals (HNIs), as well as several others with control over direct investments.

 “Among those we invited to this meeting are capital market players, bankers, fund managers, and investment advisers, and this is because they also advise their clients which include High Net worth individuals (HNIs), Kemi stated.

“Our goal is to provide them with information that would help them take advantage of opportunities that they may ordinarily overlook or may not be aware of, such as what Mauritius has to offer.”

B&I is renowned for its specialised services to clients, which in a number of cases included moving with clients into other regions and jurisdictions to help them structure and secure their investments and businesses in these locations.

Clarifying the need to offer this service to its clients the firm’s Chief Operating Officer said, “This service is based on the network of clients we have, and their need to structure transactions that will be profitable to them, while increasing their value to shareholders. The group you see here today includes, our corporate commercial clients, our high net-worth clients, and a few others in the same category who require this sort of structuring to make their companies tax-effective.”

“Most Nigerians will ordinarily go to the British virgin Islands (BVIs) or the Cayman Islands, and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) don’t particularly support these two as much as they support Mauritius, I as we have seen today, is continuously developing as a tax haven. To this end, we consider it necessary to sensitise our clients and some target individuals on the opportunities available in Mauritius,” she further explained.

Coming just ahead of the signing of the Double Taxation treaty between the governments of Nigeria and Mauritius, the programme is believed to be quite timely.

Throwing more light on the Partnership with Abax, the Kemi stated, “With the huge investments coming out of Nigeria, ABAX sought an international law firm based in Nigeria with an understanding of the financial terrain in Nigeria and international best practices. Thus they approached us for this purpose.”

The partnership between Mauritius-based ABAX and Nigeria’s Banwo & Ighodalo seems well-defined, given the similarity in their values, structure and expertise. Whilst the Mauritius firm, Abax is renowned for structuring and administration of cross-border investments in its region, B&I is one of Nigeria’s foremost Financial services law firm with expertise in Corporate Finance & Restructuring, Project Finance, Foreign Investment & Divestment, Aviation & International Trade, amongst others.

B&I  provides services for public and private companies, governments, Nigerian and foreign investors, financial institutions, foreign law firms and several international consultancy firms, such as Abax.

Theodora Kio-Lawson