Connect with us


FG sets up task force to dismantle check-points on Benin-Nigeria highway – Minister



FG sets up task force to dismantle check-points on Benin-Nigeria highway – Minister


Abuja, April 15, 2019 The Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama, says the Federal Government has set up a Presidential Task force to dismantle all check-points on the Nigeria-Benin route to encourage trade and regional integration.

Onyeama said this on Monday in Abuja, when members of ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ELTS) Task Force at the borders of member states paid him a courtesy visit.

The ELTS task force led by its Spokesperson, Mr Ken Ukaoha, also gave the report of its finding on activities across the borders along the Lagos-Seme-Benin route and factors impeding free trade in the region.

The minister said that the Presidential task force on Check-Points, which would be inaugurated soon, was domiciled in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

“The government has set up a task force to address the checkpoint issues; clearly Mr President has given a directive to remove all check-points.

“As soon as this is implemented, we will have some progress in that area.

“The task force will give recommendations on dismantling different check-points along the border route and it will get stakeholders involved.

“Government has also set up a steering committee of the stakeholders to come together to address the challenges,” he said.

Onyeama expressed the determination of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the Chairperson of ECOWAS, to ensuring free trade within the region.

“It is depressing that some of your discoveries are part of the challenges and the issue of corruption that the president is dealing with.

“As you can see the various areas and the impact on trade in the region.

“We are chairing ECOWAS at the moment, we will continue the work and ensure the removal of all barriers to trading in our sub-region,” he said.

According to him, the issue of smuggling, which is also putting a real strain on the objectives of ECOWAS, is something that is harming countries in the sub-region and government is determined to address that.

“And of course the re-parking and reloading are parts of the security measure that we want to take, and once that is done we are determined to take all the necessary measures to address all the issues you have raised.

“All the ECOWAS countries have to tackle issues and to make sure that the provisions of ECOWAS are maintained, otherwise the efforts are defeated.’’

uKAOHA had earlier told the minister its findings on challenges impeding trade between ECOWAS countries, which included multiple checkpoints along the border between Nigeria and Benin republic.

He said the team undertook a tour from Lagos to Seme and to Benin and discovered ten check-points manned by different uniformed men instead of two approved by ECOWAS law .

The task force leader said that the situation became worse when the team was returning, as the check points, made up of police, customs, immigration, NDLEA, Federal Road Safety Corps and quarantine staff, had increased to 33.

He expressed concern that progress in trade liberation had been impeded because of different and unnecessary checks points along the sub-region’s borders.

“Much progress has not been made in terms of trade, though on other areas, some level of achievements has been attained.

“If the ECOWAS can move as a region, more than 45 per cent of the wealth that should have been generated by over 350 million people in ECOWAS would have really helped in reducing poverty.

“Movement of people, goods and services have been impeded by a lot of factors in the region and therefore the subject of poverty reduction has not been achieved,” he said.

The ELTS task force said there was the need to improve operations at the joint border which he said had just been commissioned.

According to Ukoaha, the region needs to increase awareness among the uniformed men and provide them with modern and sophisticated equipment that would enhance their operations.

Contact US: editor, nnnnews247

Para-Athletes, Coach commend Sports Minister over palliatives Banditry: FG distributes relief materials to IDPs in Sokoto Research report tasks investors on investment risk Nigeria’s stock market opens week with N55bn loss FRSC to begin enforcement of Coronavirus protocols in commercial vehicles in Katsina United States-based fertiliser coy to establish African branch in Kebbi 602 repentant Boko Haram members denounce membership Al-Hikmah Varsity: outgoing VC urges staff to be committed to duty Niger Assembly summons commissioners, others over Coronavirus response Reconsider suspension of 2020 WASSCE, NAPPS urges FG Court sentences man to 5 years imprisonment for possession of hard drugs Transport unions, FRSC sign agreement on Coronavirus safety measures in Kaduna Ekiti doctors’ strike not borne out of wickedness, insensitivity – NASS, NERC to partner on legal framework to protect investment in power sector Tinubu commiserates with Lagos Speaker over Braimoh’s death Court remands teenager over alleged murder Coronavirus Scare: AMAC secretariat safe, free – Chairman Nasarawa Assembly assures good working relationship with executive We’ll complete all ongoing projects in A’Ibom – Gov. Emmanuel FRSC tasks transport unions on compliance with Coronavirus protocols Coronavirus: FRSC directs transporters to sanitise vehicles, loading terminals EEDC donates PPE to frontline health workers in UNTH FG to initiate service delivery scheme in 7 states Alleged illegal property seizure: Court adjourns N8.1bn suit against Lagos until July 17 Bauchi Inquiry Committee seeks stakeholders’ support to end farmers, herders clashes Court admits 6 guns in evidence in alleged Taraba kidnap kingpin, Wadume, 6 others’ case Police seize 10 AK47 rifles, ammunition from suspected gunrunners in Taraba Marginalisation: Adopt dialogue, Warri council boss advises Itsekiri group Russian Agency to provide water solutions to parts of South Africa Schools projects: Ogun govt. warns contractors against use of substandard materials President predicts Coronavirus in Indonesia will reach peak in August-September Malami gives Sahara Reporters 7-day ultimatum to retract libelous, defamatory publications against him Thai hotel partially closed over Coronavirus-infected Egyptian Maize farmers call for end to insecurity to enhance food production Fake DSS personnel bags 12 years imprisonment Lockdown: 2 docked over alleged assault on policemen Fire guts World Trade Centre in FCT Brother of Tottenham’s Aurier shot dead in France Man, 28, remanded over alleged possession of firearms Association tasks Nigerians on peace, tolerance Military chopper crash kills 2 in Kenya Don calls for restoration of African values in tackling corruption Lawmaker advocates life or death sentence for killer herdsmen, bandits   We are not non indigenes in Nasarawa — Tiv Community Scourge of banditry will soon be thing of the past – CDS Russia detains 5 suspected IS terrorists Coronavirus: Lagos records 12 deaths within 24 hours- NCDC FG arraigns 10 for allegedly hijacking Chinese fishing vessel Housing: Anambra plans massive construction to reduce deficit Zaha urges social media platforms to remove racist users