Africa AfricaAsia  Report

Border closure: Nigeria, Niger, Benin set up patrol team to tackle smuggling

Nigeria, Niger and Benin have agreed to set up a monitoring committee to tackle smuggling after months of border closure.

Representatives of the joint anti-smuggling committee, including foreign ministers met in Abuja, Nigeria on Thursday to try to resolve the impasse.

“The patrol team is to agree on the modality to carry out its operation and recommend a date for the opening of the borders. The delegation of Benin and Niger appealed for the immediate re-opening of the Nigerian borders. In conclusion, the three (3) countries reaffirmed their commitment in enhancing economic integration”, said Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama.

The patrol team is to agree on the modality to carry out its operation and recommend a date for the opening of the borders.

The committee will comprise naval, customs, immigration and security officials from the three African nations.

A statement released after the meeting said, the three countries have agreed to meet later this month to recommend opening the borders.

In August, Africa’s largest economy shuts its borders with Niger and Benin to curb smuggling of rice and other commodities. The decision continues to take a toll on businesses in the affected countries.

AFP

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Adewale Adenrele Muhideen

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