Republic of Benin aims to strengthen its relations with Nigeria

The Republic of Benin is actively pursuing enhanced trade ties with Nigeria, as well as advocating for the free movement of goods and the integration of people ahead of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Summit.

During the meeting with President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic at the State House in Abuja on Wednesday, President Tinubu emphasized the necessity of cooperation for economic prosperity in West Africa. He pointed out that the lack of synergy between Nigeria and Benin Republic has hindered mutual development.

President Tinubu welcomed the economic program being developed through inter-ministerial collaboration by the Benin Republic government, expressing Nigeria’s support for the initiative. He highlighted the cordial relationship between the two countries, stressing the need for common economic priorities.

“We are one. No other nation like ours should be worried. What is affecting us is a lack of synergy. We have not developed the necessary economic synergy that will develop our two nations. We must have common economic principles and priorities. The economic program you are developing through inter-ministerial collaboration is welcomed by me.

“We will support all of our private sector interests to facilitate prosperity in both of our important countries. I appreciate the urgency of your approach, and we welcome this. Leadership is sometimes defined by urgent action. Thank you for your quality leadership. We are together. I am not a backward-looking person. I look forward. This is how I avoid missing steps,” remarked the President.

President Talon, during his visit to the State House to garner support from President Tinubu for the enhancement of trade relations before the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Summit, emphasized the critical nature of the relationship between Benin and Nigeria.

“Benin has initiated the implementation of a national development plan, which includes fostering increased integration between Nigeria and Benin Republic. Our development plan takes into consideration the necessary investments in Benin to facilitate enhanced trade integration with Nigeria. Although numerous agreements have been signed to propel our integration forward, implementation has been lacking.

“At the ECOWAS level, we endorse free movement and integration, and on the African level, the AfCFTA envisions this; hence, there is an urgent need to transform these visions into reality.

“Our investment program must be reevaluated to encompass all aspects of the Nigerian economy. We propose the establishment of an inter-ministerial technical committee to collaboratively draft a document for our legislatures. I am prepared to issue an executive order to appoint members of the council to promote mutually beneficial cooperation across various sectors.

“Bilateral challenges, particularly regarding smuggling, have arisen. We are committed to coordinating efforts to ensure the protection of your interests as we integrate our economies. I look forward to making history together,” stated President Talon.

Quest: Cris-Edesiri Odjomah

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