JUST IN: Details Of Meeting Between Tinubu and Beninese President Talon Emerge

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The president of Benin Republic, Patrice Talon, on Wednesday evening, visited his Nigerian counterpart, President Bola Tinubu, at the State House in Abuja.

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu and his Beninese counterpart, Patrice Talon, met at the State House in Abuja on Wednesday to discuss ways to improve trade relations between the two countries.

In the details of the meeting disclosed in a statement by presidential spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale, Tinubu said cooperation is imperative for economic prosperity in West Africa, noting that a lack of synergy between Nigeria and the Benin Republic has been hindering mutual development.

Tinubu said Nigeria and Benin Republic share a lot in common, describing both countries as conjoined twins held together at the hip.

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

The statement further revealed that President Talon was at the State House to seek the support of President Tinubu on improving trade relations, ahead of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Summit. The Beninese President described the relationship between his country and Nigeria as crucial.

He said Benin Republic is seeking stronger trade ties with Nigeria, emphasizing the free movement of people and goods between both countries.

“Benin has started implementing a national development plan which includes enhanced integration between Nigeria and Benin Republic. 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.

“Our investment programme must be revised to factor in all factors of the Nigerian economy. We seek to set up an inter-ministerial technical committee that will jointly prepare a draft document for our legislatures. I am ready to sign an executive order to appoint members of the council to advance mutually beneficial cooperation across sectors.

“There have been difficulties bilaterally on the issue of smuggling. We will work hard to coordinate and ensure that your interests are protected as we integrate our economies. I want us to make history together,” President Talon said.

 

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