There has never been a time where the need for an insurance policy, or as it is called in the investment realm, a ‘Plan B, has been more in demand. In March 2020, some opted for a stockpile of toilet paper or non-perishable goods, and others shortlisted their emergency bunkers. However, many felt comfort in possessing a second citizenship that can provide a hedge against uncertainty. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the importance of preparing for the unpredictable by a means that will keep ourselves and our families safer and healthier.
Programmes like Citizenship by Investment from St Kitts and Nevis are helping Nigerians do just that. Citizenship by investment provides a quick solution for eligible, well-vetted investors, who, in exchange for an economic contribution, gain access to social services including basic education and healthcare, with the ability to pass their citizenship down for generations.
After gaining independence from Britain in 1983, St Kitts and Nevis established the world’s first Citizenship by Investment Programme in 1984. The relatively young sovereign nation is the smallest in the Western Hemisphere but has made significant strides since the 80s.
In a virtual event with officials from St Kitts and Nevis and CS Global Partners, the Guardian presented a webinar titled “Nigerian Citizens: Build a Platinum Legacy and Broaden Your Horizons by Investing in St Kitts and Nevis”.
The Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Timothy Harris, explained what attracts those interested in investing in a Plan B to his nation.
“We have the longest experience in Citizenship by investment programmes around the world. Every programme that has come after 1984 is a permutation, if you will, of the St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Programme,” he said.
“We have the benefit of being there longer. We have a better understanding of the marketplace. We have become the most innovative in the marketplace and the most responsive. For all these, we are proud to say that we really are the Platinum brand,” he added.
The Prime Minister also listed many benefits Nigerians could achieve with second citizenship from St Kitts and Nevis to build their own legacy. “Those who invest will be investing in a jurisdiction where the investment is safe, where they can earn profits, and they can […] create their profits,” he said.
He also noted St Kitts and Nevis’ close financial and diplomatic relationships with the US, UK and other economic centres.
Moreover, he said that St Kitts and Nevis has one of the strongest economies in the Caribbean region and is a “leader in the rule of law” in terms of its practice of democracy,
Among other advantages, he concluded with ensuring listeners about his citizens’ “warmth and hospitality”.
In the second half of the webinar, Mr Les Khan, CEO of the Citizenship by Investment Unit, discussed the straightforward process and investment options that make St Kitts and Nevis a unique choice for Nigerian investors.
“St Kitts is doing everything to protect the investment but also to make us one of the strongest programmes in the Caribbean and in the world,” he said.
He reiterated that aside from being one of the Caribbean’s strongest economies and business-friendly, business owners and investors gain numerous other incentives. “For example, the client does not have to visit St Kitts [and Nevis] in order to put in the application. There is no requirement to be here. The number of visa-free countries obviously is a big factor.
“Economic citizens […] can proudly say that they belong to a politically stable, democratic nation that protects the rights of citizens.”
The most straightforward path to citizenship in St Kitts and Nevis is through the Sustainable Growth Fund. The fund offers well-vetted investors the opportunity to contribute $150,000 in the country’s social and economic development for citizenship. The fund is used to develop priority sectors such as education, health, climate change and resilience, infrastructure, tourism and culture, and indigenous entrepreneurship promotion.
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