Beninese President Patrice Talon met this afternoon with his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari.
The main point on the trading menu is the fight against contraband mainly smuggling rice. In fact, since 2015, Nigeria has taken steps with neighboring countries to limit cross-border trade in rice to boost local rice production and ensure the food and economic security of Nigerians. To this end, the Nigerian government had threatened to close its borders with Benin if appropriate measures were not taken. Faced with this worrisome situation for Nigeria, the two heads of state agreed to set up a joint committee to fight against rice smuggling, including with Niger, which is another frontier for smuggling rice. to Nigeria. The Beninese president deplored the scourge of smuggling between the two countries arguing that it negatively affects the economies of the two states and poses a threat to bilateral relations. He goes on to say that Benin is powerless to stem rice smuggling alone to third countries but that the establishment of a joint committee is necessary to combat this scourge.
Incidentally, the Nigerian president also raised the risk of insecurity in his country linked to the smuggling of small arms and ammunition transiting through Benin to Nigeria.
Beninese President Patrice Talon, for his part, has expressed the wish to his Nigerian counterpart, the possibility of rallying Nigeria to the Benin – Niger rail loop project. President Buhari admitted that this opportunity could be economically interesting for his country but suggested that a study be done to locate the ins and outs.