• Monday, May 20, 2024
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Nigeria, Brazil to strengthen ties

Nigeria, Brazil to strengthen ties

…as Tinubu seeks direct flight between both countries

President Bola Tinubu and President Lula da Silva of Brazil, met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Sunday, and agreed to strengthen bilateral ties in all fields.

Nigeria and Brazil once enjoyed strong economic relationships, with trade growing to $10 billion.

Lack of sustainability saw trade between both countries plummet to less than $2bn currently.

Ajuri Ngelale, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, in a statement, said Tinubu emphasised the strength of Nigeria’s economic potential and influence, saying the country was witnessing a leap forward, despite some short-term reform pain as his administration was removing all encumbrances to business.

Tinubu explained that his administration was investing in critical sectors of the economy like healthcare, education, and agriculture to ensure the welfare of all Nigerian citizens and to create sustainable economic prosperity for future generations.

“We have a very vibrant population of young Nigerians who are trainable, dependable, and should be empowered. The economic potential of Nigeria is enormous. We are ready to break all the walls standing in our way to progress.

“We are ready to fight corruption from top to bottom. We are ready to invest in critical sectors like healthcare, agriculture, education, infrastructure, and others. I have one of the most dedicated teams on agriculture,” he said.

Assessing Nigeria’s natural and human resource wealth akin to Brazil’s, President Lula da Silva said Africa’s largest economy and South America’s largest economy have a long and interesting history together.

The Brazilian leader said Nigeria and Brazil once had a trade volume of more than $10 billion, which has now plummeted to $1.6 billion, emphasising that he was determined to strengthen bilateral relations.

“I am back to try to restore; to reclaim our good relations with Nigeria. I can not imagine that a country of 216 million people and another of 213 million people do not have strong relations.

“Mr. President, I am 78 years old. You are 71. What keeps me energetic is that I fight for a cause. The cause of my nation and people. A great cause is the elixir of sustained vitality for experienced leaders.

“Nigeria and Brazil need stronger relations from the academic viewpoint; from the cultural viewpoint; from the commercial viewpoint; from the agricultural viewpoint; from the industrial relations viewpoint, and from trade relations viewpoint.

“It is meaningless that there are no direct flights from Lagos to Sao Paulo and vice versa. I cannot understand that. We have to sit at a table and find a solution to that. In aviation, there are many areas of potential collaboration with our manufacturers who seek to have a greater presence in Africa.

“I only have three more years left of my term, Your Excellency, to do everything I have not done yet. The time is very short. I am in a hurry to make my contributions to improve these relations with Nigeria. To make this happen, we have to put our ministers to work,” he said.

Responding, President Tinubu said Nigeria was ready to deepen ties with Brazil, noting that it was a “legacy of what can be done together to change the future for countless millions of our citizens”.

“We are stopping at nothing to remove all encumbrances to business. Red tape is being shredded around us. There is nothing we will not do to manifest the great potential of our nation. We are fighting corruption from the bottom to the top. We will prevent it, and we will remediate.

“We are very aware of your progressive legacies of social security provision, infrastructure, and reforms in Petrobras. We are in the process of implementing similar reforms in the NNPCL. We are focusing on investment in new production and new energy sources. We are investing in research, and we are removing obstacles to further partnerships in all areas of operation. There is opportunity for both companies in partnership,” the president said.