July, 26
Nigeria and Republic of Benin are about to set up joint committee to combat smuggling
On July 25, President Muhammadu Buhari hosted President Patrice Talon of the Republic of Benin at State House, Abuja, during which the two leaders agreed on the imperativeness of a joint committee to combat smuggling.
Speaking recently while inaugurating the Joint Management Committee (JMC) made up of members drawn from Nagarjuna Fertilizer and Chemicals Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of the India-based Nagarjuna Group, and NNPC, Dr Baru noted that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was keenly interested in diversifying the economy by growing the agricultural sector and that the early take-off of the Nagarjuna Fertilizer Project would be a boost to that aspiration.

We are aware of how rice smuggling is affecting the development of local capacity in rice farming in Nigeria. It is affecting trade between us negatively, and Nigeria is an important partner for a country like Benin. But we have no powers to block goods meant for other countries, and our country is not the final destination for the smuggled rice. We need to develop a common will to face the problem," President Talon said.

Presidents also discussed the idea of a rail network to link Nigeria, Benin Republic, Niger Republic, and some other countries, saying that "it is valuable economically."