By Folashade Alli
- Inaccessibility to Brazil a threat to the MoU – Aganga
Coming on the heels of recent meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and his Brazilian counterpart, Dilma Rousseff, The Nigeria government together with Brazil has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) designed to strengthen their bilateral cooperation on trade and investment.
Signing the MoU, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, who represented Nigeria and his Brazilian counterpart Ricardo Shaefer of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, signed for his country.
Speaking at the ceremony in Abuja, Aganga said the MoU is to strengthen the bilateral cooperation on the promotion and facilitation of trade and investment between the two countries.
According to him, the agreement also includes industrial cooperation and financing as well as how both countries can double their trade volume.
Still speaking, Aganga noted that the sectors covered by the MoU to includes infrastructure, power, automobile, agriculture and sugarcane to sugar among others.
“Nigeria has policies on sugar and automobile development. These are areas that Brazil has very strong presence and this is how we work together to develop those sectors” He said.
“In the area of trade, the balance of payment is in favour of Nigeria but that is because of the export of crude oil to Brazil.
“We have agreed that we need to look at the non-oil sector and double trade within the next two years in all the sectors in terms of industrial products, services, agriculture and all that.
However, Aganga decried the presence of some obstacles to free movement of people between both countries, which he said, was a threat to implementation of the agreement.
He identified a lack of direct flight from Nigeria to Brazil and the difficulty in obtaining visa at the Brazilian Embassy as some of the obstacles that should be addressed.
In his remark, Shaefer, observed that Brazil and Nigeria shared some development challenges that could be addressed through cooperation.
He noted that stronger economic and trade ties between Nigeria and Brazil would translate into economic development for both countries and a better life for their citizens.
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