… supports FG on border closure
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has stated that the execution of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) was crucial to its success and sustainability.
Obasanjo who supported the closure of border between Nigeria and Benin Republic by the Federal Government noted that the intense support AfCFTA has received from various member states was a clear indication of its importance.
The former President stated this in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the two-day Policy Dialogue of African Business Associations on Implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, Agreements, co-organized by the African Union (AU), African Development Bank, AfDB, the African Export – Import Bank, AFREXIMBANK, among others.
Obasanjo, who is the chairman
of Afro-Champion Initiative and Coalition of Dialogue Africa, CoDA, Board
of Directors, explained that Benin’s notoriety was not new, noting Nigeria had
for long been enduring the practice which undermined its economic well being.
“CoDA is highly engaged to seeking success of AfCFTA and other multilateral agreements. CoDA’s work is informed and guided by the notion that no one has monopoly of ideas,” he said.
He urged more actions, beyond words, adding that with fragmented 55 markets, Africa would remain a small player in the global market place.
Calling on Benin Republic to crave for a harmonious bilateral relationship between the two countries, He said: “It happened when I was President of Nigeria. I called the then Benin President, Nicephore Dieudonne Soglo, to let us meet at any of our border posts over the issue.
“We eventually met at Badagry (in Nigeria) where we agreed that Nigeria Customs would be stationed in Benin. They (the Nigeria Customs) are still there. We don’t have issues with goods manufactured in Benin, they are welcome. But as long as Benin allows dumping of goods, there will always be problem with Nigeria.’’
He said the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, was not created to allow one country turn itself to a dumping ground.