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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Brazil has a lot to offer Nigerians in cultural tourism —Consulate General by Wale Ojo Lanre

Brazil has a lot to offer Nigerians in cultural tourism —Consulate General

by Wale Ojo Lanre 
January 27, 2016
Written by: 
Wale Ojo Lanre, Nigerian Tribune 
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The Consulate–General, Brazilian Embassy Nigeria, Her Excellency, Maria Figueiredo has declared that Brazil has a lot to offer Nigerians in the cultural tourism sector but regrettably,  not much of the opportunities are being accessed by the sector players.

Figueiredo disclosed this interview with the TTM in Ile-Ife where she called on Nigerians to ‘avail themselves of these opportunities .for the symbiotic benefits of the nation.

She pointed out that though Brazil and Nigeria have a long standing relationship on culture and trade but “It is not as geometric scale as expected”.

 Figueiredo revealed “Not that Nigerians are not scrambling for Brazilian visa or visit, but there is a dearth of genuine business-minded Nigerians particularly in the cultural–tourism and educational sector. There are many opportunities waiting to be explored in Brazil  in commerce, culture, transportation and particularly education”.

She disclosed “I am particularly interested in an increased level of cultural–tourism relationship and exchange between our great countries. There are many things we share and many things that are unique. An increase in the level of our relationship will allow a comparative  peer group benefits  which will be good for our citizens, the nations and the world”

Figueiredo said that the federal authority in charge of tourism and culture should establish close rapport   with the  Brazilian authority  because of the wealth of experience and know-how in the tourism  sector, adding that “Most of the tourists from Nigeria are either invited by the universities, government  or bodies, but I want a situation where there will be tourists in and out of the two countries”.

She revealed “majority of those who claim to be heading for Brazil under the cover of tourism are majorly migrants  who constitute illegality  in the country. This is not what I am saying. For there are lot of sites, cultural, historical, religious, ecotourism and wonderful sites in Brazil”.

“Our door is ajar for the consummate and business-oriented Nigerian who is ready to within the confine of legality explore any areas of business, development and growth. Brazil is home of the Africans. For you to know, African contribute descents 70 per cent of the population. Almost every one of us has the African blood running in our veins. So, I expect a better relationship between the citizen of the two countries”.

She called on parents in Nigeria to seek information about the educational opportunities in Brazil “Nigerians should obtain information about the educational system in Brazil which is not only qualitative, but free. Brazil offer free tuition in their universities and education institutions. I want Nigerians to avail themselves this information and make use of the opportunities”.

 The ambassador who  is in Nigeria for a second time posting disclosed “Nigeria is making steady progress and advancement in development and growth which the country should build on. This is my second time of working in Nigeria. I was here some years ago and now back, I  can tell say Nigeria, I mean Lagos  is now better than  my first experience here. The country is great with great people”.

She described Ile–Ife as “a  historical town of note which majority of the African descents in Brazil see as their root. It may interest you that I have been found to be  from Osun State and an Osun adherent. This is typical of any Brazilian. Ile–Ife is important and significant to a typical African descent fellow in Brazil”.

Talking about Nigeria cuisine, Figueiredo said that “Nigeria like Brazil has a lot of delicious meals. But for me, I am in love with akara,  kilishi and dodo Ikire”.

The Ambassador who said that she tasted Dodo Ikire for the first time, a day preceding this interview pointed out that   ‘it is not only tasty, but delicious. It is pure and tasteful. I love dodo Ikire and I will buy a lot whenever I am going to Brazil for my friends . I am sure they will love it”.

 She described her experience at the Ooni Palace as “a wonderful and spectacular packaging of cultural display by wonderful people in a wonderful manner which will remain evergreen in my memory”.

Figueiredo disclosed “We are going to open a new vista of relationship with the palace. The Ooni is a man of prodigious cultural consciousness and is bubbling  with ideas of how to employ culture and tourism in empowering his people, the Brazilian Embassy will be ready to help in germination of the ideas and linking the  palace with interested investors in Brazil. Also, you know, the Embassy will be ever ready to help in procurement and issuing of visas  to team from the palace to Brazil”.

She called on Nigerians wishing to travel to Brazil ‘our job here is to ensure that as many genuine Nigerians gained access to Brazil. We are here serving your interest. There is no need going through a third person or an agent. The Embassy is opened for you to seek information and get details of your interest in Brazil. We are here to protect the interest of Brazilians and establish good relationship with Nigerians in Nigeria and Nigerians going to Brazil. For I wish Nigeria what I wish my country”.