Ex-envoy and others lobby DAWN for the creation of a joint Nigeria-Republic of Benin commission
The Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Nigeria / Republic of Benin Permanent Joint Commission proposal, Ambassador Kayode Oguntuase, said the establishment of this commission would boost economic development and security in the two neighboring countries.
Oguntuase, who is a former Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, said this to Ibadan on Tuesday when he led committee members and Nigerian Shippers Council officials on an advocacy visit to the Development Program office. for western Nigeria at Cocoa House.
The ex-diplomat said that the bilateral issue was very important because of the proximity of the two countries and especially the economic advantages that the creation of the commission would offer them.
He said: “The joint commission will be responsible for formulating the basis required to strengthen relations between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin, especially in the areas of trade, economy, investment, energy. , culture, human resources, skills, science and investment. technologies, information technologies, innovation, education, security and defense.
“The joint commission will also examine the agreements concluded in the past between the two countries and will also find appropriate solutions to any problem in their implementation.
“The joint commission is expected to build on and transform the existing relationship between the two countries into a level of strategic partnership which will manifest itself in the establishment of strong and lasting people-to-people and people-to-people business relations of Nigeria and the Republic of Benin.
“The commission will also strive to improve the two countries and advance their common priorities, which include in particular ‘promoting the socio-economic integration of the two countries, encouraging and increasing formal and legitimate trade and investment between the countries ; develop a solid economic cooperation between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin through the Co-Prosperity, Zone Alliance (COPAZ), strengthen the fight against cross-border crimes and terrorism and promote economic prosperity and the security of the prosperous Lagos-Abidjan corridor .
The President of the West African Association of Agro-forestry, Pastoral, Fisheries and Food Cross-Border Trade, Alhaji Salami Alasoadua, said the trade barrier between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin must be lifted so that both countries stop recording losses.
He said that due to the trade barrier between the two countries, exported goods had to be transported by longer routes, which had negative effects on the economy of both countries.
Alasoadura said, “The reason we have a Permanent Nigeria / Republic of Benin Joint Commission is to; promote trade, culture and generate income for Nigeria and make the South West the connectivity between West and Central Africa.
“On the security challenge and the lack of employment which is the major problem among border communities, and infrastructure, we need to use a program of empowering these border communities by providing them with small scale businesses. ”
The Director General of the Western Nigeria Development Program, Mr. Seye Oyeleye, welcomed the initiative.
He assured the committee of DAWN’s support to ensure that the trade barrier between the two countries has been removed through the establishment of the joint commission.