Government of Nigeria
5 min readFeb 18, 2024


President Bola Tinubu and President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Sunday, and had fruitful discussions on comprehensive strengthening of bilateral ties in all fields.

Speaking at the meeting, President Tinubu emphasized the strength of Nigeria’s economic potential and influence, saying the country is witnessing a leap forward, despite some short-term reform pains, as his administration is removing all encumbrances to business.

The President further explained that his administration is investing in critical sectors of the economy like healthcare, education, and agriculture to ensure the welfare of all Nigerian citizens and to create sustainable economic prosperity for future generations.

“We have a very vibrant population of young Nigerians who are trainable, dependable, and should be empowered. The economic potential of Nigeria is enormous. We are ready to break all the walls standing in our way to progress.

“We are ready to fight corruption from top to bottom. We are ready to invest in critical sectors like healthcare, agriculture, education, infrastructure, and others. I have one of the most dedicated teams on agriculture,” he said.

Assessing Nigeria’s natural and human resource wealth akin to Brazil’s, President Lula da Silva said Africa’s largest economy and South America’s largest economy have a long and interesting history together.

The Brazilian leader said Nigeria and Brazil once had a trade volume of more than $10 billion in the past, which has now plummeted to $1.6 billion, emphasizing that he is determined to strengthen bilateral relations.

“I am back to try to restore; to reclaim our good relations with Nigeria. I can not imagine that a country of 216 million people and another of 213 million people do not have strong relations.

“Mr. President, I am 78 years old. You are 71. What keeps me energetic is that I fight for a cause. The cause of my nation and people. A great cause is the elixir of sustained vitality for experienced leaders.

“Nigeria and Brazil need stronger relations from the academic viewpoint; from the cultural viewpoint; from the commercial viewpoint; from the agricultural viewpoint; from the industrial relations viewpoint, and from trade relations viewpoint.

“It is meaningless that there are no direct flights from Lagos to Sao Paulo and vice versa. I can not understand that. We have to sit at a table and find a solution for that. In aviation, there are many areas of potential collaboration with our manufacturers who seek to have a greater presence in Africa.

“I only have three more years left of my term, Your Excellency, to do everything I have not done yet. The time is very short. I am in a hurry to make my contributions to improve these relations with Nigeria. To make this happen, we have to put our ministers to work,” he said.

Responding, President Tinubu said Nigeria is ready to deepen ties with Brazil, noting that it is a “legacy of what can be done together to change the future for countless millions of our citizens”.

“We are stopping at nothing to remove all encumbrances to business. Red tape is being shredded around us. There is nothing we will not do to manifest the great potential of our nation. We are fighting corruption from the bottom to the top. We will prevent it, and we will remediate.

“We are very aware of your progressive legacies of social security provision, infrastructure, and reforms in Petrobras. We are in the process of implementing similar reforms in the NNPCL. We are focusing on investment in new production and new energy sources. We are investing in research, and we are removing obstacles to further partnerships in all areas of operation. There is opportunity for both companies in partnership,” the President said.

While identifying solid mineral exploration, agriculture, education, and healthcare as areas of immediate concern, President Tinubu emphasized that the will of the two leaders to collaborate is firmly established.

“I agree that our countries must now have direct air links. I will form a committee of cabinet members who will work directly with your cabinet ministers, and they will urgently form a joint plan of action for the benefit of our two great countries. We may have missed opportunities in the past, but we now look ahead.

“Brazil and Nigeria share similarities. Let us forget old mistakes. The phenomenal growth achieved by Brazil in agriculture is exemplary. We will work with you to mechanize our food production systems to enhance quality and quantity of output. I will work with you to re-energize Nigeria’s relations with Brazil across the board,” the President stated.

The leaders of the largest democracies in Africa and South America, respectively, agreed to work out the modalities for a state visit to Brazil by President Tinubu after President Lula da Silva extended an invitation, which the Nigerian leader warmly accepted.

Chief Ajuri Ngelale | Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity)

February 18, 2024