President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday congratulated President Patrice Talon of the Republic of Benin on the successful completion of the magnificent border project, pledging that Nigeria will work closely to ensure the success of the newly inaugurated Seme-Krake joint border post between both countries.
Buhari speaking at the official handing over ceremony of the joint border post in Seme said the project was aimed at enhancing free movement of persons and goods in the region.
The President in a statement sent to us by the Special Adviser on Media and publicity, Femi Adesina, therefore, described the project as “a symbol of integration that brings together the people of Nigeria and Benin.”
Speaking on the benefits of the joint border post, Buhari, noted that it would enhance trade facilitation by combining border clearance activities in a single location in addition to fostering data and intelligence sharing between Nigeria and Benin Republic.
The statement reads: “Indeed, the Seme-Krake joint border is one of the busiest boundary lines not only in West Africa but the whole continent, daily recording huge movement of persons, goods, and services.
“Permit me therefore to congratulate my brother, President Patrice Talon of the Republic of Benin on the successful completion of this magnificent project.
“As we all know, Nigeria and Benin share many things in common. Hence, the establishment of the Joint Border Post will certainly promote our brotherliness and emphasize our common interest.
“The Border Post is strategically important and lies on the Lagos-Cotonou-Lome-Accra-Abidjan corridor, which accounts for about 70% of the entire transit traffic in the sub-region.
“The corridor is also part of the Trans-African Highway network. This Joint Border Post with modern enabling facilities is a flagship project in ECOWAS and a good example of regional public assets with a spill-over range of benefits.
“I am aware that a Joint Committee with membership from Nigeria and Benin has been established for the coordination and management of this facility. I would like to call on the members of the committee to note the complex task ahead of them.
‘The committee must ensure that border officials are sensitized on the mode of operation of the Joint Border Post concept which is a big departure from the traditional mode of operation. I call on the ECOWAS Commission to continue to provide the needed support to this Committee.
“ECOWAS is a region where ports, roads, railways and airports still remain a constraint despite significant recent progress made.
“Nigeria has embarked on major investment programmes covering these sectors to improve the competitiveness of our economies and accelerate growth. We are therefore delighted to welcome such initiatives aimed at boosting the economic integration of our member States in West Africa.’’
President Buhari also thanked the EU for supporting two other joint borders at Malanville (between Benin/Niger) and Noepe-Akanu (between Ghana/Togo).