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DAWN seeks Nigeria, Benin Republic synergy to optimise ACFTA benefits

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SEME post. PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

Experts say ties will promote trade, shore up revenue
The Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission has stressed the need for Nigeria and Benin Republic to work together for economic imperatives to optimise the benefits in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement Area (AFCFTA).

The Commission emphasised that Nigeria-Benin Republic economic ties would benefit Western Nigeria.

Head of Special Projects of the DAWN Commission, Mr. Adetayo Adedoyin and the Director-General, Mr. Seye Oyeleye, stated these during a consultative meeting of the proposed Nigeria/Benin Republic Permanent Joint Commission held at the DAWN Commission’s office, Ibadan.

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Adedoyin said: “We have to focus on the economic aspects of the proposal. That is what will motivate governors to be part of it. We must focus on economic imperatives. If AFCFTA catches us napping, we will lose. South-West will just become a dumping ground. I am a firm believer in trade as a fulcrum for development. We need the advantage of what we have. Let’s focus more on economic imperatives.”

Oyeleye said: “It is in our interest to work together. We are a unit within the larger system. All the six states will be sensitised. It is our job to bring it to their attention on the need to strengthen their relationship with Benin Republic.”

In a keynote address by former Nigeria’s Ambassador in Benin Republic, Oguntuase Kayode, he stressed the importance of establishing the joint commission.

He said: “It is significant to note that Nigeria and Benin share about 778 kilometres of land and maritime borders. Also, six states in Nigeria and six departments in Benin Republic share borders. Consequently, six common ethnic groups from both countries have, since the pre-colonial period, continued to interact and interface culturally and socio-economically.”

Similarly, in a remark, the Executive President of West African Quest Association for Cross-Border Trade in Agro-forestry-pastoral, Fisheries Products and Food (WACTAF), Alhaji Nasiru Alasoadura Salami, said the proposal would promote trade, culture and generate revenue to Nigeria and make South West the connectivity between West Africa and Central Africa.

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