News

May 22, 2024

FG moves to reopen Tsamiya, Benin Republic border

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Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu

By Godwin Oritse

In a bid to enhance regional integration and boost economic activities, a high-level delegation from the Federal Government of Nigeria engaged in an inter-ministerial meeting with counterparts from the Benin Republic to discuss the reopening of the Segbana-Tsamiya border post in Kebbi State.

Among the Nigerian delegation are the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, Executive Governor of Kebbi State, Dr. Nasir Idris,  Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi, Director of Home Finance at the Ministry of Finance, Alhaji Ali Mohammed, and Dr. Dakorinama Alabo George, Director General Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA), among other dignitaries.  

In a statement signed by the Public Relations officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, Mr. Abdullahi Maiwada said that discussions were centered on comprehensive issues surrounding the border post’s opening, focusing on logistics, security measures, and the economic impact.

Maiwada also said that feasibility studies were presented, outlining expected benefits such as increased trade and potential challenges that might arise adding that deliberation also included setting timelines and identifying necessary infrastructure to ensure a smooth operation.

He said: “During the visit, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, affirmed that engagement between the two countries will foster their efforts to enhance the economy. According to him, the aim was to improve the free flow of trade and commercial activities between the two countries, primarily through Northern Borders.

“To ensure closer working and economic relations between Nigeria and the Benin Republic. Over the last six months, within this collaboration framework, we have been working with our colleagues from the Beninese Customs Administration to ensure that we bring the economy together through easy border crossing with goods.” 

Similarly, the Director General of the Benin Customs Administration, Adidjatou Hassan, commended  the move to reopen the border, which, according to her, will strengthen the trade activities between citizens of the two countries.

Hassan said: “This development is expected to increase economic cooperation and strengthen bilateral ties between the two nations. We are committed to sustaining our seamless collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service while enhancing security at our borders and trade activities.”

In his comment, the Nigeria Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, said the decision to form the forum was based on Presidents Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s and Patrice Talon’s directives to strengthen social and economic interaction as well as expanding trade and commercial ties between the citizens of the two nations.

The Kebbi State Governor, Nasir Idris, who was part of the delegation, thanked the two countries’ presidents for making moves to reinvigorate the free trade and transportation of goods to various destinations within the two countries.

Governor Nasir, however, emphasised that “the state has maintained good neighbourliness with the Republic of Benin on economic activities and social interaction as both beneficial to the border.”