NEWS DIGEST – The Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi, has inspected the Seme-Krake Joint Border Post (JBP) of Nigeria and the Republic of Benin.

Mr Israel Ibeleme, Special Assistant (SA) to Amaechi said in statement on Thursday that the inspection took place before a high level meeting between the minister and his Benin counterpart.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with the assistance of the European Union (EU) had established the Seme-Krake JBP, aimed at facilitating trade and transit cross-border.

“The Republic of Benin and Federal Republic of Nigeria as stipulated by the ECOWAS Act, have the responsibility of overseeing the general administration of the Joint Border Post, upon the handing over of the facility to the two countries,” Ibeleme said.

He said both countries were expected to ensure the maintenance of the facility, its operations and the provision of operational and administrative equipment.

He further said in order to facilitate trade and free movement, all road blocks that constituted barriers to free transit were expected to be removed with the start of operations at the border post.

“The Federal Ministry of Transportation is Nigeria’s Focal point and doubles as the Chair of the Joint Border Post Management Committee in line with the Act setting up the JBP,’’ he said.

He therefore said that the ministry would fulfill its obligation with regards to maintenance of the facility.

According to the SA, operations at the JBP will be carried out by selected border agencies of Nigeria and Benin Republic that will be working with other sub-committees. (NAN)