Ambassador Calls For Opening of ECOWAS Border at Seme

...Says Drug Trafficking, Arms Import, Illegal Bunkering On the Rise

The Nigerian Ambassador to Republic of Benin, Ambassador Oguntuase, Emmanuel has lamented the porousity of Nigeria-Benin Republic land borders, saying that the area is characterised by illegal activities such as drug trafficking.


Citing national security, the ambassador observed the need for scanner machines to be installed in all the land borders and the immediate opening of the abandoned Seme-Krake ECOWAS joint border post.


Ambassador Oguntuase stated this last week when he hosted a meeting of the Joint Border Security Forum from both the Seme Customs Command and the Ogun Command in Benin Republic.


In his opening remarks, Oguntuase lamented that currently, Nigeria is facing economic and security challenges along the Nigeria-Benin borders.

He highlighted some of them as; Massive smuggling activities of prohibited and restricted items through the Nigeria land borders, Proliferation of small arms and light weapons, human trafficking, Illicit drug trafficking, Piracy, Illegal bunkering, oil theft and International terrorism.


The security meeting which was at the instance  of the Nigerian Ambassador was designed for him to meet with the various Federal Government Agencies operating at the borders including; Nigeria Immigration Service, the Department of State Security, Nigeria Police Border Patrol, NDLEA, NAFDAC, SON, Port Health, among others.


He made some observable lapses to the Nigeria border control agencies and urged them to rise up to the challenges. 


He said the essence of the meeting was to acquaint officers of the Mission the officials of the Border control agencies, create synergy and a harmonious working relationship between the Mission and all the border control agencies, establish regular consultation, cooperation and a common mechanism for sharing information.  


He expressed the mission’s effort in repositioning the border agencies for improved performance, especially on making frantic efforts with the relevant agencies including the Nigeria government, E.U, ECOWAS and the Beninese authorities to ensure the joint border post is commissioned without further delay. 


According to him, "the mission is working assiduously to ensure the promotion, facilitation and enforcement of ECOWAS trade liberalization Scheme as this will increase the smooth movement of goods and products produced within the two countries into Nigeria and Benin Republic respectively"


He charged the Nigeria border control agencies to continue to protect the Nigeria territorial integrity and National interest through effective and efficient border control and management.


He added that, facilitation of the smooth movement of people, goods and services along the Nigeria/Benin Republic borders without compromising Nigeria security and National interest will also be enhanced.