How to reinforce Nigeria-Brazil relationship— Envoy

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By Busayo Onijala

Lagos, Sept. 6, 2022 Francisco Luz, Consul General of Brazil in Lagos, says one of the sectors that can be used to reinforce the bilateral relations between his country and Nigeria is tourism.

The Brazilian envoy made this known on Tuesday, during an event organised by the Consulate as part of activities to commemorate Brazil’s Bicentennial independence anniversary.

Naija247news reports that Brazil will mark 200 years of independence from Portuguese rule on Sept. 7.

The event, themed, “Developing a Sustainable Framework for Nigeria-Brazil Tourism Enhancement” brought together Nigerian and Brazilian tourism stakeholders.

According to Luz, tourism brings knowledge into societies and has the ability to erase misconceptions.

The consul general said that past years were challenging globally, but nations could find opportunities in challenges.

He noted that tourism was the way forward, urging Nigerians and Brazilians to learn more about each other’s cultures, to change the mindset given by colonizers.

“Culture is one of the integral parts of our nations, so we have to build our cultural ties through all means possible.

“We also want to see more development in areas including agriculture and education, and hope to give more scholarships to Nigerian students in Brazil,” Luz said.

In his remarks, Amb. Chris Okeke, former Nigerian Ambassador to Brazil, said Nigeria needed willing and able partners across the globe to help her on the quest to being great.

According to him, Nigeria has great achievements to be proud of, some of which are her profound resources, both natural and human capital, in domains that stretched from medicine through engineering, from science to technology, and business.

“When we talk about Nigeria and Brazil, discussion really needs to be centered around how to create, manage and sustain a progressive, mutually profitable relationship.

“We can see that the interconnectivity of the world is far more than our minds can comprehend and it is for this reason, that developing allies and in particular economic partners is more critical than ever.”

Okeke said there was a lot beyond tourism, adding that other areas to be considered include diplomacy, literature, art, film, food, music, tech, tourism, agriculture, banking, among others.

He stressed that Nigeria had the opportunity to dismiss and demystify some of the stereotypical beliefs.

According to him, there is a need to drive an initiative that will celebrate the renewed relationship between Nigeria and Brazil.

He said the aim of this initiative would be to establish a fresh idea of what both countries represented today, and to build for tomorrow.

“The initiative will be a catalyst to uncover the many opportunities for cultural and commercial collaborations between both countries and to facilitate them moving forward.

“I encourage us all to do our part in fostering and bettering the representation of Nigeria,” Okeke said.

Mr. Kennedy Chirchir, Country Manager, Qatar Airways described aviation as an enabler of not only tourism, but also the economy.

He said certain destinations could be reached only by getting visas and by flying, adding that without either, there wouldn’t be tourism.

According to Chirchir, Qatar Airways is unique for pushing new frontiers and will continue exploring new routes as long as opportunities arise.

He also urged tour operators to visit different cities ahead, in order to educate clients and make them willing and ready to travel.