The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the African Union (AU) Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation better known as the “Niamey Convention”.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, briefed State House correspondents on Wednesday after the FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to the minister, the convention aims to simply promote cross-border cooperation at local, sub-regional and regional levels.
Mr Dada said the convention was initiated by Nigeria during the conference of African ministers in charge of borders on 29 May 2012 in Niamey, Niger Republic and adopted in Malabo Equatorial Guinea in 2014.
“That simply explains why it is referred to as the Niamey Convention.
“As I said, Nigeria initiated and spearheaded the drafting of the Convention; subsequently, Nigeria signed the convention on January 29, 2017.
“What we simply did today was to present the convention to the council for its approval and ratification by the president.
“The convention harps on federal government’s foreign policy, which emphasises good neighbourliness,”.
He said the convention equally intended to facilitate the delimitation, demarcation and reaffirmation of inter-state borders in conformity with mechanisms that had been agreed upon by the parties to the convention.
“This convention is aimed at facilitating a peaceful resolution of border disputes between member states.
“It is also intended to promote peace and stability through the prevention of conflicts, the integration of the continent and the deepening of unity amongst member states.
“Equally very important is the fact that it provides an opportunity to share intelligence between us and our neighbours.
“it also provides a mechanism for the promotion of economic integration of the continent, cross-border cooperation that will help trade facilitation and promote African Continental Free Trade Agreement which has just come into effect in the entire continent.’’
The minister said that he looked forward that the convention would enable Nigeria to harmonise activities at its numerous borders because it had very large borders.
Mr Dada said that the convention would enable Nigeria to achieve an integrated border management system.
“This is precisely what this convention intends to achieve; as I said, we did sign this since the convention on January 29, 2017.
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“All we are doing now is to seek its ratification; other African countries have already signed on to it and have also ratified it.
“All we are doing is to give leadership to Africa by ensuring that we also ratify it so that it will come into effect,’’ he said.
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