The Beninese and Nigerian presidents met in Paris, on the sidelines of the Summit for a new global financial pact, this June 23, 2023 in Paris. Patrice Talon and Bola Tinubu have shown their desire to improve Benin-Nigeria relations.
Will a new wind blow over Benin’s relationship with Nigeria? The presidents of the two countries shared their vision of a beneficial neighborhood for their populations. While the closure of land borders with Benin and other neighbors set an unfortunate precedent between 2019 and 2020the new Nigerian president, quoted by his spokesperson, said: “we are ready to improve our relations”.
Considering Benin and its country as “Siamese twins”Bola Tinubu also implicitly addressed the question of the not always easy commercial relations between the two countries by claiming to have named “someone who will work with you as Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Bashir Adeniyi, and he will be available for our common interest”. In August 2019, it was to fight against smuggling that the then president had ordered the closure of the borders which were not reopened only 16 months later, in December 2020.
For his part, Patrice Talon, who took part in the investiture of Bola Tinubu on May 29 in Abuja, expressed his hopes for collaboration with the neighbour. “We stand ready to work with you to implement policies that will protect our economies at land and sea entrances. Everything that is prohibited in Nigeria will also be prohibited in Benin”committed the President of the Republic.