Jonathan Hosts President Dilma Rousseff

The President of Brazil; Dilma Rousseff today paid a state visit to Nigeria at the invitation of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The two presidents held talks on promoting and strengthening the bilateral relations between Nigeria and Brazil and provided strategic guidance and direction at the bilateral talks to further enhance their ties and friendship.

The two presidents also discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest and reached common understanding.

Highlight of the visit was the signing of a MoU establishing a mechanism for strategic dialogue that will set up a bi-national commission to fashion out the areas the two countries will be impacting on each other.

The areas to be covered in the MoU include agriculture and food security, petroleum, power, biofuel, trade and investment, mining, education, infrastructure, finance and culture.

At the forecourt of the presidential villa, President Dima Rouseff was accorded full reception as she took time to inspect the guards; both presidents were introduced to cabinet ministers on both sides before they all headed into the president’s office for bilateral talks that lasted for about two hours.

President Jonathan observed that the two countries share a lot in common hence the need to continue to collaborate as both countries can use the sectors to leverage on their economies as well as create jobs for Nigeria and Brazilian men and women..

The Brazilian president on her part said that Brazil will welcome Nigeria with open hands especially as the World Cup approaches. She said she is interested in ensuring that both countries are well positioned in the international scene.

Both presidents called for urgent reform of the United Nations Security Council to make it more democratic and reflective of the changes in the international architecture.

Brazil Declares 3 Days of Mourning

Brazil has declared three days of national mourning for the 231 people killed on Saturday in a nightclub fire in the southern city of Santa Maria.

The fire reportedly started after a member of a band playing at the Kiss nightclub lit a flare on stage.

Authorities say most of the victims were students who died of smoke inhalation. The first funerals are expected to start this morning.

Brazil postponed a ceremony due on Monday in the capital, Brasilia, to mark 500 days to the 2014 football World Cup. In Santa Maria, 30 days of mourning were declared.

President Dilma Rousseff, who cut short a visit to Chile, has been visiting survivors at the city’s Caridade hospital along with government ministers.

“It is a tragedy for all of us,” she said.

Authorities have released the names of the victims, after revising down the death toll from 245.

More than 100 people were being treated in hospital, mostly for smoke inhalation.

Officials will now investigate reports that a flare was lit on stage, igniting foam insulation material on the ceiling and releasing toxic smoke.

They will also look at claims that many of those who died were unable to escape as only one emergency exit was available.
It is the deadliest fire in Brazil in five decades.


Brazilian president to lead trade and economic mission to Nigeria

 Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff has accepted an invitation to visit Nigeria before the end of the year to boost economic and trade relations between both countries.

Goodluck Jonathan meeting with Dilma Rousseff in Rio

A statement by Special Adviser to the President on media and publicity, Reuben Abati, stated that Ms Rousseff’s state visit to Nigeria has been tentatively scheduled for November.

President Jonathan had extended the invitation to the Brazilian leader at a bilateral meeting on Wednesday during the on-going United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, noting that greater economic and developmental cooperation would be in the mutual interest of both nations.

The President affirmd that Nigeria will welcome increased Brazilian support and cooperation for the development of mechanized agriculture, power generation and other sectors in which Brazilians are globally acknowledged experts.

He also called for the revitalization of the Africa-South American Cooperation Forum which was jointly initiated by Nigeria’s former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and the former President of Brazil, Mr. Lula Da Silva as a platform for the promotion of economic and political cooperation between the two countries and continents.

Accepting President Jonathan’s invitation to visit Nigeria, President Rousseff said she will come with Brazilian investors and businessmen with expertise in many fields to give them an opportunity to meet their Nigerian counterparts with a view to establishing profitable joint ventures.

She assured President Jonathan that Brazil, currently the world’s sixth largest economy, would be glad to deploy the skills and expertise which its people have acquired in many fields, including engineering, construction, technology, public infrastructure, hydro-power generation and large scale mechanised agriculture for economic growth and development in Nigeria.