Paga Group recently announced that it has moved its headquarters to the the United Kingdom (UK). Unknown to many people, the Nigerian fintech’s head office was, until this time, domiciled in Mauritius.
Disclosing this development last week, Paga’s Founder/CEO, Tayo Oviosu, said he and the rest of the team were excited about the move and looked forward to facilitating trade in the UK.
Note that Paga Group is the holding company for the fintech’s operations in Nigeria, México, Ethiopia, and the UK.
The Paga Group has redomiciled to the UK 🇬🇧!
The Paga Group is the holding company for our operations in all countries – Nigeria, México, Ethiopia, and the United Kingdom.
Very excited about this move and look forward to working with @tradegovuk to promote trade with the UK!
— Tayo Oviosu (@oviosu) September 25, 2020
Why exactly Did Paga Leave Mauritius?
Simply put, Oviousu alleged that Mauritius is a difficult place to do business. IN May 2019, he wrote a long and almost hilarious but candid Twitter thread on why he will never do business in the East African island nation again. Part of what he wrote can be seen below.
“The laws and courts of Mauritius are not very fast-moving, and the rules are difficult. I’ve had one court case that was eventually thrown out after a year. In the UK it would have been thrown out immediately, and the person would have had to pay us for our lawyer fees.
“Basically, not an easy place to do business. It is more painful than useful. I say stick to good ol’ America or UK or Netherlands or Luxemburg. Where you know there are professionals, and the legal system works.”
1. Most countries especially OECD countries are now requiring "substance" i.e. actual operations and directors wherever your holding company is located. This is to fight the tax haven business. Mauritius has changed its rules and it would be more expensive to have a company there
— Tayo Oviosu (@oviosu) May 15, 2019
Why Was Paga Domiciled in Mauritius in the First Place?
It is surprising that Oviosu did not have a very pleasant experience in Mauritius. But what is most surprising is the fact that the company has been operating outside of Nigeria all these years.
Perhaps, Paga’s management figured that operating from within Nigeria might come with even greater challenges. After all, Nigeria is notorious for being an equally difficult place to do business.
Note that Paga, which facilitates payments,was founded in 2009. Its Nigerian office is in Yana, Lagos.
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