Nigeria to Meet with Niger, Benin Over Rice Smuggling

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The Benin Republic Ambassador to Nigeria, Paulette Yekpe, has said that the proposed tripartite meeting by Nigeria, Niger and her country, will establish a framework to address rice smuggling.

Ms Yekpe said this while briefing journalists on Monday in Abuja on sideline of activities marking the 58th Independence anniversary of the country.She said that the smuggling of rice and other products posed a threat to the relationship between both countries.

The ambassador said that although ECOWAS protocol paved way for the free movement of citizens within the sub-region, more needed to be done through regional integration to tackle rice smuggling.

According to her, Nigeria and Benin have always worked together to beef up border security in the past. She added that Benin, Nigeria and Niger have decided to meet, based on what is happening these days when talking about rice smuggling.

In separate interview, Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), said that Nigeria’s relationship with Benin needed to be deeper to tackle smuggling.

He said that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration would do all within ambit of the law to tackle smuggling, cross-border and transnational crimes.

He said that the porosity of borders between the two countries contributed to transnational crimes. He assured Benin of the federal government’s support in terms of security, to tackle smuggling.

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