Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama has said that Nigeria will strengthen bilateral ties with Brazil to boost its economy through increased trade relations, agricultural initiatives, multilateralism, and tackle insecurity.
Onyeama made this known in Abuja when he received Mr Ernesto Aranjo, Brazilian External Relations Minister of Brazil who is on a working visit to Nigeria. Onyeama who said that both countries had a lot in ommon, added that Nigeria would leverage on the expertise of Brazil to grow the economies of both countries.
He said that the Federal Governmet would embark on a lot of initiatives to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria to make the country more attractive to Foreign Direct investment (FDI) . The minister said that Nigeria had a lot to offer in terms of return on iinvestment.
“There are numbers of important initiatives that we are pursuing such as the Green Initiative, a very promising initiative that will be a game changer in the agricultural sector. “We look forward to cooperating with you in implementing this very ambitious agricultural project which is based on the success and experience of Brazil in the field of Agriculture.
“We also look to have closer and deeper ties, security wise. We face some security challenges, terrorist challenges for a number of years now. “And Brazil is one of the countries we also look to explore areas of cooperation in the military field and we hope that this could be something that we can achieve.
“Brazil is one of the largest economies in the world and one of the largest country population wise and Nigeria is the largest economy in Afria and most populous country so we have a lot of similarities. “For such too large economies, we feel that we should be doing a lot in trade between our two countries and the level can be increased much more.
“We have relations in the oil and gas sector and agriculture as well ,but we can do a lot more and we are delighted that there is a business group that has come with you from Brazil to explore possibilities,” Onyeama said.
Onyeama also told his Brazilian counterpart that there is a lot of advantage for Brazil for coming to Nigeria and there are a lot of economic advantage that the ECOWAS is able to offer and now. He told the Brazilain envoy that with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), Africa could be one of the largest global integrated common market which should be of major interest to Brazil.
Onyeama said that Nigeria would, in close collaboration with Brazil strengthen multilateralism at the level of the United Nations. He said that the High Level Strategic Dialogue meeting holding in March 2020 between both countries Vice Presidents would be an opportunity to look into the issues of pending Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs).
Also speaking, Aranjo said that Brazil seeks to have strong and new engagements with Nigeria basically on three pillars; Economic, trade and investment, in the area of Defense and security and on human connection and values. He expressed conviction on the realization of the set pillars between both countries within a short time frame.
“The Green Imperative Initiative is a wonderful project and we are comitted to making it happen. “Brazil has an enormous potential in term of agricultural technology and Nigeria has a potentials in agriculture that totally match.
“Brazil is in a new circle of development after many years of stagnation and the reasons Brazil survived through the difficult years of its economy has been mainly through agric business. “The Defence and security area is also promising, we share concerns on the need to fight terrorism and organised crimes.
“In the multilateral sphere, we want to also coordinate with Nigeria to foster a common vision for those organisations in the multilateral dimension,” Aranjo said
Aranjo said that he hopes the strategic meeting between the Vice Presidents of Brazil and Nigeria will set a good roadmap for both countries to achieve the listed areas of cooperation.