Aidoghie Paulinus and Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Nigeria, the Republic of Benin and Niger have established a joint border patrol team comprising the Police, Customs, Immigration of the tripartite countries to recommend a date for the reopening of the nation’s borders.
The decision was part of resolutions arrived at at the end of the tripartite anti-smuggling committee meeting in Abuja, yesterday.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who read the communiqué, said the meeting took note of concerns raised and agreed to establish a monitoring and evaluating committee comprising ministers of Finance, Trade, Foreign Affairs, Customs, Immigration and National Security Adviser of the three countries with a mandate to ensure actions that would facilitate and enhance the suppression of smuggled goods and other related matters.
Onyeama also said the meeting agreed that the monitoring and evaluation committee would ensure full implementation of the adopted mandate of the Joint Anti-smuggling Human Trafficking Committee.
They also agreed to establish trade facilitation committee comprising ministers of Finance and Trade in order to promote intra-regional trade as well as put in place sanctions against smuggling of goods.
Amongst others, Onyeama said governments agreed “to ensure persons from the three countries enter/exit each other states with valid ECOWAS recognised travel documents through recongnised controlled posts.
The team is to hold its first meeting on November 25-26.
The patrol team is to agree on the modality to carry out its operation and recommend a date for the opening of the borders,” Onyeama said.
Meanwhile, the Forum of the West African Financial Intelligence Units in Dakar, Senegal voted to unanimously relocate the Headquarters of its Forum to Abuja, Nigeria from its temporary site in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
Chief Media Analyst of NFIU, Ahmed Dikko, said this in a statement made available to Daily Sun.
He is explained that the work of the forum is to coordinate intelligence sharing among state parties of Ecowas and members of the Chad Basin countries on money laundering, terrorism financing, financing of proliferation of weapons and all other criminal activities.
“It was agreed that the Nigerian Financial intelligence unit (NFIU) will host the Headquarters temporarily and gradually nurture it to an independent regional Headquarters,” Dikko, said.