From Lagos to Toronto: The Nigerian businessman building a new life in Canada

Article By Uglobal Staff
Nigeria's and Canada's flags

An ex-journalist-turned-advertising maven, Nigerian Jenkins Alumona has built a prolific career in his home country’s media industry for the past few decades. He is now the CEO of his own media and advertising company, Strategic Outcomes Limited, and vice president of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria – among other roles.

In the late 2010s, with a family of four kids, Alumona was led to contemplate a retirement path that helped his offspring pursue world-class education and access to better opportunities. That’s how the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) comes in.

“I felt it was an opportunity for my children to have a different life than mine; the goal is to give them better opportunity and prospects,” says Alumona to Uglobal. “Canada was among the top options to consider, and many friends encouraged me to do it.”

At the time, the QIIP had much more relaxed requirements than its most recent version. When Alumona applied in 2017, there were no French language or minimum stay requirements; it’s no longer possible under the newly introduced restrictions.

QIIP French language restrictions 

Among the restrictions, in effect since January 2024, knowledge of the French language is mandatory and obliges candidates to a one-year stay prior to pursuing residency, conditions which many find prohibitive. Before the restrictions were introduced, over 99% of applicants didn’t speak French.

Indeed, approaching his mid-50s at the time, Alumona found that learning a new language was a far more daunting undertaking than he was willing to endure, so after having initially moved to Montreal while pursuing French language classes, he finally settled, along with his family, in English-speaking Toronto.

“The language part was a huge challenge; I was too old to learn French,” he recounts. “It became too difficult that I decided to move to Ontario, and that’s also where my kids were attending university anyways so it made sense to make the move.”

Getting Canada’s PR with QIIP 

Getting the residency card, however, wasn’t short and sweet, with the process extending to up to four years, partially due to COVID-19 lockdowns. “It was an extremely long time before getting the residency card,” he says. “We submitted our passports just before Covid started, so that made the process even longer; but it eventually went through.”

To get there, Alumona had to invest CAD 400,000 (Approx $300,000) – a cost he sees as justified given the many perks and qualities of living in Canada. Among them, Alumona finds Canada’s embracing and tolerant culture to be at the foremost.

“I already have great Canadian friends who I meet regularly, and I feel very at home with them,” he notes on his social life. “Canada is a culturally assimilating place. I’ve never felt discriminated against or othered. It’s been very easy to integrate and feel a sense of community here.”

Business pursuits in Canada in the pipeline 

Ever since moving, Alumona has maintained a back-and-forth itinerary between Lagos and Toronto to continue presiding over his business operations – albeit his trips are becoming less and less frequent, he says.

Now, he is contemplating launching a separate business in Canada.

“I’m hoping to get to a point where my [Lagos] business can exist on its own – without me. I want to keep it growing because it’s important to me that it survives where it is, rather than simply relocating it to Canada, which will be sad to everyone who would lose their jobs in this scenario.”

However, he understands it might prove an uphill battle, one he seems determined to undertake.

“It takes time and effort to build something successful, but if you exert the required effort, you can get there,” he says. “I’m a positive-minded person, and I don’t see a reason why I won’t be able to launch a similarly successful business in Canada.”

Meanwhile, Alumona is already pursuing other business opportunities with the legal firm that helped him settle in Canada, JTH Lawyers.

He and his family have been living in Canada now for about two years, and they’re in it for the long haul.

“It’s a long-term thing; you do this kind of move so you can retire and build a new life, so yeah, we’re going to continue living here well into the future,” he says.

“It takes about five years to get citizenship which we’re going to be excited about. We’re still only two years in, so not there yet, but also not too far,” Alumona concludes. 

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Uglobal Staff
Uglobal Staff, along with its peer-reviewed magazines and conferences series, focuses on the global investment immigration market, offering the latest trends and analyses. is a media platform built to provide professionals involved with global programs with the most comprehensive and credible sources of information in digital, print and seminar mediums. The platform was created out of the need for marketplace transparency and to more efficiently connect individuals interested in learning about the global programs - either as a potential capital source or as a solution for their immigration needs. The Uglobal publication collaborates with a network of leading experts and an authoritative board of advisors to uphold a high standard in all content delivered and events hosted by the organization.

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