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Tinubu to Beninese Talon: Cooperation imperative for economic prosperity in West Africa

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (r) Receives President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic in the State House, Abuja, FCT

*President Bola Ahmed Tinubu receives President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic in the State House, Abuja, emphasising Nigeria’s support of all private sector interests and programme to facilitate economic prosperity in the two important West African countries

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has said cooperation is imperative for economic prosperity in the West African sub-region.

The Nigerian leader Wednesday, December 6, 2023, in Abuja, FCT, noted that lack of synergy between Nigeria and Benin Republic has been an encumbrance to mutual development.

Speaking when he received President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic Wednesday, in the State House, Abuja, President Tinubu said Nigeria and Benin Republic share a lot in common.

Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, stated Tinubu also described both countries as “conjoined twins held together at the hip.”

The President asserted: “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.”

Tinubu further stated: “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.”

On enhanced integration between Nigeria, Benin Republic, by President Talon

The statement said President Talon, who 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, described the relationship between his country and Nigeria as crucial.

Benin Republic, Talon stated, is seeking stronger trade ties with Nigeria, as he emphasised the free movement of people and goods between both countries.

The Beninese President also said: “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.”

Talon further explained: “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.”

The Benin Republic President stated: “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.”

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