ThisDay Online, Nigeria
Nigeria, Brazil Sign Bilateral Agreements
From Josephine Lohor in Brasilia, Brazil
6 September 2005
The relationship between Nigeria and Brazil yesterday took a major leap with the signing of bilateral agreements by Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and liiz Inacio Da Silva.
Both leaders signed the agreement after a private session and official talks shortly after the arrival of Obasanjo at Planalto Palace which bordered mainly in four major areas of trade and investment, technical cooperation, cultural revival, and regular political consultations.
Obasanjo’s Senior Specail Assistant on Media Matters, Mrs. Oluremi Oyo, told newsmen at the end of the meeting that Brazil was “interested in solidifying the cultural ties between us (Nigeria) in the exchange of teachers to teach African history, cassava and tropical fruits.”
Obasanjo in his speech, however, during the lunch hosted by Da Silva, said “we are happy to note that we are on the march towards re-igniting the golden years of Nigeria-Brazil relations of the 1980s. The value of our bilateral trade then peaked at over $2 billion and our joint cooperation profile covered virtually every facets of human activity
“The successes achieved so far especially in our collaboration on the production of anti-retroviral drugs in Nigeria and the joint agricultural research projects in cassava and tropical fruits production are reassuring and sure to expand the frontiers of our cooperation,” he added.
Obasanjo said “Brazil under President Lula has been a true friend of Africa and a development partner. Let me therefore with all sense of candour salute the life-long personal commitment of President Lula to fighting the course of people weighed down by poverty, hunger, disease, racial discrimination, injustice and other forms of social and political inequities and inequalities.”
Obasanjo noted that “in the same vein our renewed diplomatic efforts to revive the south Atlantic Zone of peace and cooperation and our commitment to convene the inaugural summit of leaders of Arica, the Caribbean and South America must not waned.
These will certainly have positive implications on the peoples of Africa, South America, the Caribbean and the rest of the developing world.
Obasanjo on arrival was received by Da Silva at the Presidential Palace. He was treated to a colourful parade by the Brazilian military after a 21-gun Salute.
While in Brazil, Obasanjo is expected to be part of Brazilian Independence celebration. He would thereafter meet with African Ambassadors in Brazil.