The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the African Union (AU) Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation better known as the “Niamey Convention”.
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada announced this while briefing State House correspondents after the Council meeting on Wednesday.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo presided over the meeting in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Dada explained that the convention “aims to simply promote cross-border cooperation at local, sub-regional and regional levels”.
He said Nigeria initiated the convention during the conference of African ministers in charge of borders on May 29, 2012, in Niamey, Niger Republic.
Member-state adopted the convention in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in 2014.
“That explains why we call it the Niamey Convention.
“As I said, Nigeria initiated and spearheaded the drafting of the convention. Subsequently, Nigeria signed the convention on Jan. 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 the Federal Government’s foreign policy which emphasises good neighbourliness.”
According to him, the convention is also intended to facilitate the delimitation, demarcation and reaffirmation of inter-state borders.
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The facilitation is 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.
“This also includes cross-border cooperation that will help trade facilitation and promote the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA)
“ACFTA has just come into effect in the entire continent.”
The minister expressed the hope that the convention would enable Nigeria to harmonise activities at its numerous borders, given the size of the country’s borders.
He said that the convention would enable Nigeria to achieve an integrated border management system.
“This is precisely what this convention intends to achieve, as we did sign this convention on Jan. 29, 2017.
“We are now seeking its ratification; other African countries have already signed it and have also ratified it,” Dada said.
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