Don't Miss

ECOWAS takes over Nigeria-Benin border post

By on March 26, 2011

The anxiety over who controls facilities housing border officials of both Nigeria and Benin Republic will soon be over as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is said to have taken over the border post.

In the next 16 months or so, the economic bloc will, with the assistance of European Community (EU), complete construction of a sprawling world class facility to be situated on a 17 hectare land carved out from the Nigeria-Beninese borders.

When completed, the facility will serve as an ECOWAS centre and would house the border officials of Nigeria and Beninese.

According the Area Controller of Seme border command Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Comptroller Sahabi Abubakar Sadiq, the 17 hectares border area was officially handed over to ECOWAS on February 24, 201 by senior government officials from both countries.

Sahabi who disclosed these said that contract for the construction of the facility has been awarded. He revealed that he is the chairman of the building committee on the Nigerian side, while the Head of Customs of Benin is the chairman on his country�s side.

However, Sahabi did not disclose how much it will cost to construct the facility but assured that the construction will put to rest the stress Nigerians go through at the border because the country�s border officials operate from a building donated to them by the Beninese and which is located in their own side of the border.

Daily Champion notes that Beninese-Nigerian border was last demarcated in 1912 and since that, beacons have disappeared and settlements have expanded, crossing the border. A maritime border has never been agreed upon.

The Beninese Ambassador to Nigeria, Benoit Adekambi, at a meeting with Nigeria�s Director General of the National Boundary Commission, Alhaji Dahiru Bobbo, has made “a passionate plea” for a speedy demarcation of the land and maritime boundary. His Nigerian counterpart promised the Ambassador his “commitment to urgently demarcate” the border.

The exact location of the 770 kilometre Beninese-Nigerian boundary, however, is not less controversial than the two other examples. It is already clear that several villages will shift nationality when the border is demarcated. Also a future maritime border can be drawn upon various models with far reaching consequences if resources such as oil are found.

Other issued that need to be resolved are the maritime borders which may become decisive for the management of fisheries resources and for possible future oil or gas explorations. Currently, however, there are no known resources except fisheries in the non-settled marine border area.

Beninese Ambassador Adekambi has been pushing the Nigerian government into action over the long boundary to avoid a lengthy international court process. At the meeting with Mr Bobbo, he was assured of Nigeria�s “earnest desire to demarcate this boundary,” according to a Nigerian government release.

Source : Daily Champion