Border Reopening Determined By Recommendations From Patrol Team - Minister
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Border Reopening Determined By Recommendations From Patrol Team - Minister

David Ugbabe

The Federal Government has revealed that the condition for the reopening of land borders is the strict compliance with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional trade protocol agreements.

The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum, made this known yesterday at a press conference in Abuja.

She stated that the reopening of borders would depend on recommendations from the patrol team on whether Niger and Benin Republic have complied with the trade protocols.

Recall that the border closure has been criticised as negating the spirit behind the recently-signed African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA).

Katagum said that a meeting was held by Nigeria, Benin and Niger after which an agreement was made.

“We had a strategic meeting with the three countries, and what we agreed with our neighbours is to activate a joint border patrol, and the border patrol comprises the Customs, all the security agencies and ensure to try to follow the actual protocol laid by ECOWAS," Katagum said.

She, however, stated that no date had been fixed for the reopening but stressed that, “it is only when that committee is certain that all the countries are respecting the ECOWAS protocol that they will recommend a day for the opening of the border.”

The Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Richard Adebayo, also expressed the government’s interest in sustaining the development of economic zones across the country, after due diligence.

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