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Dual passports enhance globalisation, says SAN

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THERE are more economic opportunities open to those with dual passports, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Chief Anthony Idigbe has said.

According to him, having dual passports also enhances mobility in an era of globalisation.

He spoke in Lagos during a seminar by the Fairway Group, in conjunction with Punuka Consulting Incorporated.

It was on how to obtain the St. Kitts and Nevis passport.

The seminar explored investment opportunities to Nigerians on the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme.

It was designed for professionals and entrepreneurs interested in having a second passport to enhance their access to travel, business, financial and lifestyle freedom.

The St. Kitts and Nevis passport is ranked as one of the top 25 passports in the world and provides its holder with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 158 countries, amongst other benefits.

Idigbe, a founder of Fairway Group, said acquiring dual citizenship legally ensures easy mobility and economic benefits.

He added that limiting one’s potentials to a particular geographical space means not leveraging on globalisation.

Idigbe said: “With the Nigerian market getting more competitive, if you have a skill, you need to be able to move it across borders.

“If you have the capital, you can invest anywhere in the world. Foreign investors are investing every day. If you look at the Nigerian stock exchange, about 69 per cent of the investments are foreign investors putting their money in Nigeria. Why shouldn’t Nigerians invest in other places?

“I remembered when I wanted to move to Canada. Some of my friends asked why an established lawyer like me, who have done well over the decades, leave Nigeria for.

“I told them I needed to reposition myself in a better environment, have better access to technology and knowledge as well as deal with the issues of globalisation for easy mobility. But the idea is not to abandon Nigeria.

“In fact, I work better from outside than when I was here with the leverage of technology which drives globalisation. Outside, you are focused without distractions, unlike Nigeria where there are distractions.

“The context of conflict, violence and crime in Nigeria and even the poor ranking of the Nigerian passport is enough case to seek for an option with the idea of not abandoning Nigeria.”

Government of St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Unit Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Les Khan, said that St Kitts and Nevis citizenship program is the one oldest in the world.

He said its country started citizenship by investment in 1984 before other countries joined.

“We are the first citizenship by investment program and every other citizenship program around the world has emanated from St Kitts and Nevis,” he said.

Khan said with the country’s passport, investors can travel to 158 countries visa-free, adding that they are the second country in terms of visa values within the Caribbean and 27th in the world.

He said despite being a small country with 55,000 persons, it is one of the most beautiful islands in the world and ranked so high in the value of passport it gives its citizens, with the guaranteed mobility they need for business.

“You will love to settle and have a second home and lifestyle. We have 18,000 economic citizens that have applied over the years.

“Most of them come from China, Russia and we are also seeing more coming from Kenya, Nigeria and Cambodia. We expand as the need arises.”

Fairway Group Secretary Carl Walwyn said the citizenship by investment legally confers citizenship status faster than traditional immigration processes.

She said it allows an investor to invest in a Condominium Shares at $200,000 with a Platinum Standard Passport benefit and citizenship for life, including the investor’s spouse, children, parents and siblings.v

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