Tinubu bemoans ‘lack of synergy’ between Nigeria and Benin Republic

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President Bola Tinubu says a lack of synergy between Nigeria and Benin Republic has stunted development and economic prosperity in both countries.

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Tinubu spoke on Wednesday while receiving Beninese President Patrice Talon at the State House in Abuja, according to a statement released by Ajuri Ngelale, presidential spokesperson.

The statement said Talon was at the State House to seek Tinubu’s support on improving trade relations, ahead of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) summit scheduled for December 10.

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“Benin has started implementing a national development plan which includes enhanced integration between Nigeria and Benin Republic,” Ngelale quoted Talon as saying.

“Our development plan includes taking into account what investments are required in Benin to enhance our integration with Nigeria in trade terms.

“It is true that many agreements have been signed to push our integration forward, but they have not been implemented.

“At the level of ECOWAS, we embrace free movement and integration, and at the African level, AfCFTA envisages this; so we need to move urgently to make this a reality.”

Talon also called for a revision of Benin Republic’s investment programmes to factor in the Nigerian economy.

“We seek to set up an inter-ministerial technical committee that will jointly prepare a draft document for our legislatures,” he added.

“I am ready to sign an executive order to appoint members of the council to advance mutually beneficial cooperation across sectors.”

The Beninese president assured Tinubu that Nigeria’s interests would be protected in the trade deal, saying “I want us to make history together”.

In response, Tinubu welcomed Talon’s ideas, saying the right support would be provided to aid both countries to achieve their shared goals.

“We are one. No other nation like ours should be worried. What is affecting us is a lack of synergy,” Tinubu said.

“We have not developed the necessary economic synergy that will develop our two nations. We must have common economic principles and priorities.

“The economic programme 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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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