Brazil and Nigeria are two great and jolly nations with a warm and beneficial relationship over the years. Brazil is South America’s largest and most populated country, both in geography and demography. It is an advanced nation and a key influencer in regional and global development matters; while Nigeria is the most populated black African nation in the world and a respected voice and participant in international affairs.
Obviously, these two nations share many interesting things in common as lots of Afro-Brazilians have traced their ancestry to Nigeria, and both nations’ governments are further strengthening obligations and cooperation between them. Due to the strong bilateral ties existing between them, the two countries can best be described as great and productive allies, tenaciously harnessing natural endowments and national resources towards improved nationhoods.
Brazil over the years has demonstrated deepened commitments to continually contribute to Nigeria’s promotions and prosperity through supports for sustainable advancement, respect for democratic values and pursuits for overall national progress.
The recent Nigeria and Brazil strategic trade growth alliance, cultural development agreement, support for film co-productions, Agriculture and livestock growths, defense partnership and new investments promotions efforts are in right directions.
Towards deepening diplomacy and development interests, Nigeria has continued to enjoy the services of various Brazilian envoys; distinguished diplomats in every sense of dignity (both past and present), who, while representing their host nation are also advancing the good cause of Nigeria.
In furtherance, therefore, Brazil foreign mission in Lagos, Nigeria’s capital city, has fared very well in the discharge of its diplomatic duty. Headed by a Consul-General, the Brazilian Consulate- General in Lagos, has paraded the finest of experienced and devoted envoys in its administration. And, successive Consul-Generals privileged to serve in this capacity have so far raised the Nigeria-Brazil companionship flags higher.
In recognition, therefore, kudos to the immediate past Consul-General, Ambassador (Mrs.) Maria Figueiredo, who left no stone unturned in efforts to further cement the alliance bond between the two nations, leaving impressive track –records during her tenure and paving way for greater works ahead.
Taking over from this woman of landmark steps is another substantive headship and a respectable personality with enviable diplomatic pedigree His Excellency Flavio R. Bonzanini. Ambassador Bonzanini is a gentle, accessible, dynamic and strategic leader, whose administrative approach and the start of work is commendable with yielding outcomes. He is a man who knows his duty-designation and within his short time in office moved so fast in consolidating on existing ties between the two countries.
Acclaim Nigeria magazine contacts with him at the Brazilian Consulate-General and other events rated him an A+ DIPLOMAT desirous of Nigeria’s improvements and sought for an audience with him. Ambassador Bonzanini graciously honored our request to meet with him at the Consulate-General in V.I, Lagos. It was a memorable visit with an unprecedented welcome by our hosts, as His Excellency spoke on diverse issues relating to trade, cultural ties, sports development, and personal-to-personal development.
Ambassador Bonzanini core focus is to achieve the following:
Improve international and investment relations
The Brazilian President H.E Michel Temee and Nigerian Foreign Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama recent meeting in Brazil on increased investments efforts and trade flows (which according to reports is estimated about $1.5 billion last year and about $538.5 million in the first four months of 2018, a 22% of year-over-year), our continued efforts to strengthened economic and development partnerships between the two nations. Both national leaders affirmed the need to work together to make sure that the relationship, trust, and progress already established remains and grow.
With respect to his assignment and furtherance to high-level government relations, Ambassador Bonzanini has often reiterated in public and private discussions that one of his pivotal duties is to encourage and boost more Nigeria-Brazil trade and commercial growth, and ensures more Brazilian investors and investment are visible in the country in the days ahead. Nigeria is a major provider of petroleum to Brazil, and for trade balances, more Brazil trade presence is welcomed in the country. H.E Bonzanini is working round to make sure Brazilian companies and corporate impacts are more visible in the country through various ongoing initiatives embarked on by his leadership.
Brazil is known and respected as a top football nation and one of the best in global the round leather ranking with highly developed sporting skills, personnel, and infrastructures. Nigeria on her own part is not doing badly in football matters too.
As a country with personnel and participation in many FIFA rated competitions and affairs, football stars known all over the world, there is a need to keep its football and other sports thriving. In view of this, and since without any contradiction the less is blessed by the better, Ambassador Bonzanini, being a sports and an ardent football lover and promoter is encouraging soccer growths and synergy between the two countries. He is progressively embarking on efforts on football academy promotions for youths in the country; facilitating football experts in Brazil to come to Nigeria to help develop the soccer game at grassroots level. His leadership is ambitiously strengthening ties with governments, private organizations, associations and bodies, individuals, and other sports enthusiasts to opened to contacts from other interest groups in Nigeria towards a improve football activities and youth and socio-economic developments in Nigeria.
The Brazilian love for football was also richly displayed at the 2018 Russian FIFA world cup, as the Consulate-General dedicated a large space within its office complex for Brazilians living in Nigeria, their spouse and friends to watch-together in a relaxed and refreshing ambiance to watch Brazil matches and other games at the competition.
Nigeria and Brazil have many similar cultural ties and exchanges, so much that the nation opened the ‘Casa-da-Nigeria’ or Nigeria Culture House in the city of Salvador, an important and economic center for the city in colonial times. Successive Brazilian envoys in the country understand Nigeria’s cultural relevance and advancements with Brazil and have deepened
collaborations on this.
Ambassador Bonzanini is also keen in the promotions of culture in Nigeria, and to be acquainted with places of historical cultural importance, his early days of arrival as the Consul-General was dedicated to familiarization of touristic visits to Nigeria’s heritages, royalties, palaces, monuments, centers and cities with a view to have first hand information on them. Continued interactions with him show he is a man willing to have a first-hand grip of cultural matters and a guest on social events in and around Lagos.
His Office in Lagos also plays host to important dignitaries of Culture from within the public and private circles in the country. One of such recent guest is the current Yoruba Generalissimo, the Are Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, High Chief Gani Adams, who visited a rich cultural display with his vast team. This visitation promised increased commitments to continually foster existing cultural partnership. Furthermore, earlier in the year the Ambassador has also helped to facilitate a large contingent of over 140 persons of the paramount ruler of Yorubaland, the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba (King) Adeyeye Ogunwusi to Brazil for various programmes of culture and development. Ambassador Bonzanini is a man of humility and candor
Regarding Consular matters, the Consul General has assured of prompt consular services by the Brazilian Consulate-General, especially in the areas of speedy visa facilitation and issuances for Nigerians traveling to Brazil. For him, legitimate Nigerian travelers for productive and profitable purposes to Brazil will be well attended to. The day to day, people to people relationships between Nigeria and Brazil is increasing, and the Brazilian government values Nigeria as a priority partner, hence it is prepared to increase visa opportunities for Nigerian travelers whether for study, business, tourism, spousal/marriage, conferences, cultural of living in Brazil purposes. Ambassador Bonzanini affirms that as long as visa requirements and conditions are met, the cases of visa denials are not envisaged. He encourages Nigerians to come and explore the rich diversities, and investment opportunities and developments in Brazil. The complaints of visa refusals are not common occurrences at the Consulate and urge Nigerians to be law abiding, present genuine documents and justifiable reasons for traveling and be good Nigerian ambassadors in Brazil. The CG directed visa applicants and other consular services to visit the Brazilian Consulate-General in Lagos online portal, which is functional with comprehensive information to diverse inquiries.
Wellness and wider partnership.
A principal function of an envoy in a foreign nation is to ensure the welfare of his/her citizen living in that nation, and Ambassador Flavio Bonzanini understands his roles on this very well. Being a seasoned diplomat that has served in many countries outside of Brazil, the general interest of his countrymen and women in Nigeria is of paramount importance. Their safety, business interests and inclinations, spouses and family and even their recreation are constantly ensured, He knows almost all identifiable Brazilians living in Nigeria and often checks on their welfare. For him, the Consulate-General and Embassy in Nigeria are accessible to address their needs, hear their complaints and help in their progress.
Similarly, the distinguished diplomat is also collaborating with other foreign missions in Nigeria, attending their National/Constitution Day and celebrating with them through invitations other participation in development activities. His Excellency Bonzanini is a man who cut across and is respected among key foreign missions in Nigeria, especially those within his diplomatic jurisdiction. A man of progress, and one that is deeply committed to ongoing national progress.
Acclaim Nigeria acknowledges the efforts of Mr. …………………for facilitating our visit and the Consular Section Head, a Brazilian married to a Nigeria, we appreciate this Nigerian lover who showed us huge affection during our visitation.
NIGERIA-BRAZIL BILATERAL TIES…TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE FUTUR