Nigeria and Brazil are likely to go into bilateral relations in the aviation and maritime industries.

Speaking at the Brazil-Nigeria Aviation and Defence Trade Forum in Abuja yesterday, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, said the Nigeria Air Force is ready to do business with Brazil to improve its capacity to dislodge terrorism and insurgency from the country.

Amao, who was represented at the occasion by Air Vice Marshal Moses Onilede, said the recent procurement of the Super Tucano fighter jets by Nigeria has changed the narrative in the ongoing war against terrorism and insurgency in the country.

He said the military would be interested in getting easy access to spare parts for the Super Tucano and to get them maintained from time to time and since the fighter jets are originally Brazilian, they would be ready for collaboration with Brazil in this regard.

He also said the Air Force would be ready to collaborate with Brazil in the area of training, especially of engineers, for proper maintenance of the Super Tucano and is also ready to purchase other fighter jets from the South American country.

The Director General/Chief Executive Officer Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Professor Mansur Matazum, said that investment in technological did not come cheap.

Matazu, who was represented by agency’s Director of Finance and Accounts, Sani Aliyu, said: “NIMET is opened to direct investment from Brazil, insisting that the investment is highly profitable and would yield investors good return on investment.”

Earlier in his welcome address, the Ambassador of Brazil to Nigeria, Mr. Ricardo Guerra de Araujo, said that Brazil and Nigeria shared longstanding human, cultural and historical relations and play an important economic role in their respective regional context.

Aliyu said: “In terms of size and economy, potentials, Brazil is the first GDP in Latin America and has also the largest population in the South American continent, just like Nigeria which have the biggest GDP and population in Africa.”

He noted that “while there are countless business and economic opportunities in Nigeria, there are also important challenges, particularly concerning the need of a more efficient infrastructure.

“Civil aviation and defense products remain, however, two outstanding strategic opportunities for international investment and trade.”

He acknowledged that some of the main factors driving defense spending include the threat posed by insurgency and terrorism and also the rising levels of illicit activities and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea off the Nigerian coast, through which more than 90 per cent of Nigerian international trade is done, adding that: “The milestone here is that without security there cannot be investment, without investment there cannot be growth and employment and without growth and employment there cannot be development and social welfare.”

He noted that with that with ITIA estimating that Africa would become one of the fastest-growing regions for aviation over the next 20 years, expanding annually at five per cent. “Nigeria is in the pole position to grab a good slice of this staggering growth as a leading economic hub in the West Coast of Africa and in the continent, thanks to companies like Air Peace,” Aliyu said.

He revealed that “the aim of this forum today is to promote and put forward opportunities in the aviation and defense products sectors between Brazil and Nigeria by providing networking opportunities and avenues for the development of bilateral trade and investment possibilities.”