The Swiss firm disclosed that wealthy Nigerians and other Africans are becoming a huge part of the business, just like globally mobile nationals from China, Southeast Asia and the former Soviet Union. The expression of interest in either passports or residency rights from Africans have gone up in recent years to over 1,000 in the first quarter of this year, from about 750 a year earlier. Nigeria is expected to be its second office in Africa.
According to head of sales at Henley & Partners, Dominic Volek, “We have been engaging with Nigerian and West African Clients for over three years now and have seen constant growth. The significance in wealth creation in the region has created a consequent surge in demand.”
The citizenship and residency advisory firm, which already has offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa, will be setting up its office in Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria. Its target market is the very rich, who wish to secure citizenship of various Caribbean countries, as well as some select few European Union members like Cyprus and Malta.
The cost implication of these services ranges from $200,000 for the Caribbean passports to more $1 million for European nations.
Henley & Partners Group, who is the world’s largest company active in citizenship and residence planning, also assists clients who opt for residency by investment programs offered by countries like US, UK and Portugal.
This has become very rampant amongst wealthy Nigerians, especially politicians seeking avenues and safe havens to invest their money. They go for this citizenship and residency most times for mobility, and not necessarily for relocation. They do not want to be restricted. A great number of Nigerian politicians have stashed away most of their wealth in such countries, where it is usually difficult to trace.