‘Non-direct flights hindering Nigerian, Brazilian trade’

The President, Nigerian-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NBCCI), Emmanuel Ibru, has decried the absence of direct flights between Nigeria and Brazil,saying it is the major hindrance to trade between both countries.

He said for Nigeria to tap into the Brazilian government’s new policy to internationalise its businesses,there must be direct flights as  it was 25 years ago.

He said this over the weekend at a meeting of the Chamber in Lagos.

He said, “Currently, it takes about 14 hours to travel to Brazil as a result of taking connecting flights instead of the six hours’ direct flight would have made possible and this is not good for trade and investment.

“Taking connecting flight is expensive for both business and tourism; Dubai is eight hours,yet people still go there because there’s a direct flight and Brazil has a lot to offer Nigeria, culturally, too, as direct flights will opened up trade between the countries.”

He said the balance of trade between the countries is skewed in favour of Nigeria, adding that Nigeria was the main exporter of oil to Brazil, which stands at $7 billion per year.

“We looked at what Brazil did years ago as Nigeria is at where Brazil was 25 years ago and we want to replicate the same here as we feel there’s a lot of experience and technical know-how to grow our trade and improve the economy that we can learn from Brazil.

“There’s potential for a lot of intercontinental trade and investments. We have a lot of resources that technical know-how from Brazil can help develop as we have the same terrainy,beliefs and, basically, the chamber is there to facilitate that and others,” Ibru said.

The Vice Consul, General Consulate of Brazil, Benedicta Simonetti, said Brazilian firms are eager to take advantage of the business opportunities in Nigeria but that they are afraid due to lack of information.

She said Brazilian business owners believed that Africa is a closed market as the Chinese and Indians has taken over, coupled with unstable government policies and news of corruption. She said Nigerian business owners has to reach out more for investment partners from Brazil.

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