Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo has called for more synergy between the Nigerian and Brazilian business community to engender growth and economic development in the two countries.
The Vice President made this call at the 4th Nigeria-Brazil Business and Investment Forum (NBBIF), which held at the Copacabana Palace Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as part of the activities of the Nigeria-Brazil Bi-National Commission Meeting.
Vice President Sambo who noted the long standing relations between the two countries stated that the Nigerian business community was desirous of collaborating with their Brazilian counterparts for the mutual benefits of both countries, particularly noting the partnership between Dangote Group and a Brazilian construction company.
Accordingly the Vice President said “The Nigerian business community therefore seeks partnership and collaborative ties with their Brazilian counterparts,” adding, “a partnership which will foster greater cohesion among our private entrepreneurs that would engender growth and economic development in our countries.”
Expressing optimism that new business partnerships would evolve from the Forum, especially with the large turnout recorded at the event, he enjoined the participants to come up with valuable recommendations that would improve the bilateral economic cooperation of both countries, while also urging them to “come up with concrete suggestions that will impact positively on the mode of doing business with emphasis on inclusiveness of all the stakeholders.”
Speaking further he assured the gathering of the attractiveness of the investment and business climate in Nigeria, saying “Nigeria today is a virgin of opportunities”. He enumerated several inroads the President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration through its Transformation Agenda, had made in repositioning the Nigerian economy and making doing business in the country easy, saying “Now is the time. It is my wish that the Brazilian Businessmen will take bold steps to explore the Nigerian market with a view to actively participating in it and vice-versa.”
Earlier, the Director of the Brazil Pavilion Pedro Wendler, had expressed great expectations from the signature that led to the creation of working groups for trade and investment between Nigeria and Brazil. He said that the Brazilian government is happy with the progress made in the partnership between Andrede Guteres (AG), a Brazilian company and Dangote Group Plc, in the areas of sanitation, transportation and public concessions.
He also expressed the willingness of the Agricultural Development Agency to facilitate the production of rice in Nigeria and are ready to partner with Nigeria in the areas of technical cooperation and investment. He said that Brazilians are happy for Nigeria’s qualification to the World Cup in view of the cultural, sports and cordial relations existing between our people.
Other speakers at the event were the Director General of the Nigerian Investment and Promotion Council, Mustapha Bello, who gave an overview of the investment climate in Nigeria, the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil.
Present at the Opening Session were the Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada, Babayo Gamawa, Awesu Kuta, both members of Senate, the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo and other top government functionaries.