The trend of residency and citizenship by investment (RCBI) continues to grow throughout the world. More high net worth individuals (HNWIs) are looking to obtain a second passport to help offset the risk of political and economic instability within their own countries.
This trend has especially skyrocketed within the African continent, and Nigeria, the most populated and second wealthiest African country, is proving a massive market for RCBI.
Nigeria ticks the three boxes needed for any given market to become a large one in terms of RCBI, which are:
- The availability of wealth
- The need for investment migration
- The availability of RCBI services
A rich nation with a struggling economy
Nigeria is in a paradoxical situation. The nation’s economy is one of the largest in Africa and one of the most influential in the region, yet its political instability continues to affect its economic landscape.
The Nigerian currency has dropped more than 100% in the last decade, while poverty is on the rise. However, when it comes to the country’s elite, the vast resources and opportunities in Nigeria mean they continue to do business on the highest level.
The number of HNWIs with over a million USD in Nigeria is expected to grow a staggering 19% in the upcoming five years, while ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs), those with net worths above 30 million USD, are expected to grow 14% within that same time period.
The Nigerian market continues to grow, regardless of currency fluctuations or the political landscape, and that creates a vast client pool for RCBI services.
A dire need for a better life
Life in Nigeria is a mixed bag, but one can understand why Nigerians consider obtaining a Plan B in terms of a second citizenship. Political instability, safety concerns arising from groups such as Boko Haram, and an array of sanctions have left Nigerians looking for a contingency.
Quality of life in the African country is not what its residents hope it would be. The UN’s Human Development Index, a methodology to assess the standard of living, infrastructure, education, healthcare, and economy of a country, among other things, provides ample proof of the country’s status. Nigeria languishes in the 161st rank of the index, which lies within the lowest tier of human development. It is no wonder, then, that over 17 million Nigerians have chosen to live abroad.
Countries that offer citizenship by investment programs such as Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, and Vanuatu rank higher than Nigeria.
But it isn’t just about the quality of life, as global mobility also plays a huge role in why Nigerians are seeking out a second passport. The Nigerian passport is notoriously weak in terms of visa-free travel, with only 45 destinations on that list, the majority of which are in Africa and Oceania. The Nigerian passport visa-free list does not include any countries from travel hotspots such as the EU or the US.
This is not to mention any travel bans such as the one President Trump applied to Nigerians, among other nationalities, and which was overturned by President Biden. The threat of future travel bans, however, remains a possibility.
On the other hand, the Antiguan passport provides visa-free travel to 150 destinations worldwide, more than three times that of its Nigerian counterpart. It also offers visa-free travel to areas such as the UK and the EU. It is no surprise that Nigerian applicants to the Antiguan citizenship by investment program increased tenfold between 2017 and 2018. Grenada citizenship is also a good option for Nigerians who are looking for a strong passport that gives great freedom of movement.
But it is not just Antigua & Barbuda that are getting more Nigerian applicants; Vanuatu’s program saw almost eight times more Nigerian applicants in 2019 than in the year before.
RCBI services aplenty
The last box Nigeria must tick to become a large RCBI market is accessibility to RCBI services, which is something we at Savory & Partners provide our Nigerian clients with in abundance.
We provide our Nigerian clientele with comprehensive second citizenship solutions that meet their needs, objectives, and budget. We understand the challenges they face on a daily basis, and we have the expertise to find solutions to their problems.
Our work in the African continent has cemented us as the best RCBI service provider in the region, and Nigerians can access that pool of expertise at any time simply by contacting us and booking a free, comprehensive consultation with one of our second citizenship experts.