Trade-investment - Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan and his visiting Brazilian counterpart, Dilma Rousseff, on Saturday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) setting up the Nigeria-Brazil Bi-national Commission, which is expected to boost trade and economic activities and strengthen the ties between the two nations.
The MoU was signed at a closed-door session between both leaders at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa (State House).
'The main thing that will interest you is that we signed an MoU that will lead to a setting up of Bi-national Commission, that is a body that will be meeting from time to time to see in which areas the countries will be interacting. The Vice Presidents of both countries will seat on the commission which will be coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,' the Nigerian leader told a joint press conference addressed by both leaders after two hours of talks.
He said the commission's work would cover agriculture and food security, petroleum, power, bio-fuel, trade and investment, mining, education, aviation, infrastructure management, finance and culture.
'These are areas (where) we believe that if we work together, we will use it to leverage on the economy of our people, improve the lot of unemployed young men and women and make sure that Nigerians and Brazilians are happy people,' he said.
President Jonathan said the bi-national commission would also encourage the private sectors from both countries to work together, especially in the area of inter-investment.
The host President said the two countries would also explore the opportunities provided by the Africa and South America (ASA) Summit to work together.
President Rousseff flew to Nigeria after attending the third edition of the summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
For her part, President Rousseff - who spoke through an interpreter - said the trade exchange between both countries have continually grown, with the figure now at over US$9 billion in 2012, up from US$1.5 billion in 2002.
She said both leaders agreed to diversify to improve on the trade exchange and ensure a more balanced trade.
According to the Nigeria-Brazil Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NBCCI), Nigeria's total import from Brazil in 2011 was US$1.2 billion while its export to Brazil, mainly crude oil, was US$8.4 billion - a trade of balance that tilted heavily in Nigeria's favour.
President Rousseff said Brazil's state-owned oil company, Petrobras, had been in Nigeria and had conducted its operations for the past 14 years, adding that the oil firm was aiming to further expand its involvement in Nigeria.
'We want to also establish our partnership covering hydro-electricity and electricity in general. Given Brazil's experience in electricity and our expertise in building a wide range of transmission system, we therefore wish to broaden our partnership in this regard,' she said.
Nigeria is Brazil's main partner in Africa due to crude oil exports from the African nation.
Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, and Brazil, the most populous nation in South America, have enjoyed friendly relations for years on the basis of culture and trade. Many Afro-Brazilians trace their ancestral origins to Nigeria.