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Border Dispute: Niger Bans Benin Vehicles from Operating Lomé-Niamey Corridor

Tuesday, 14 May 2024 15:14
Border Dispute: Niger Bans Benin Vehicles from Operating Lomé-Niamey Corridor

(Ecofin Agency) - Amid strained relations between Benin and Niger regarding border openings, the government of Niger has issued a decree banning Beninese vehicles from operating on the corridor between Lomé Port in Togo and various locations in Niger. This decision, released on May 11 adds tension to an already complex situation for regional logistics stakeholders.

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According to the decree, transportation of goods along this corridor, as per a bilateral transport agreement between Niger and Togo, is exclusively reserved for vehicles registered in either Togo or Niger. The document specifies that only trucks registered in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Ghana may participate in freight transport in case of high demand, excluding those from Benin, despite the corridor's connection with the country.

The decree comes amidst difficult border relations between Benin and Niger. Despite the lifting of ECOWAS sanctions, Niger has maintained its border closure, citing concerns over the presence of French military personnel in neighboring countries, as stated by the Prime Minister.

The` decision directly impacts freight transport companies with trucks registered in Benin, signaling the end of a previously available, albeit costly, alternative. The escalating tension between Benin and Niger poses a challenge for transit and logistics companies, for whom the Cotonou-Niamey corridor was a significant source of activity.

While Togo may emerge as a viable alternative, doubts persist whether it can fully meet Niger's consumption needs. Despite Niger's official entry into the club of African oil exporters, with an expected international sales capacity of 200,000 barrels per day by 2026, addressing the additional demand for logistics services requires companies from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, and even Niger to ensure the long-term viability of operations, considering truck acquisition costs and lengthy amortization periods.

Unless there's an unforeseen development, resolving the crisis between Benin and Niger in the short term seems unlikely. Niger’s oil requires passage through Benin's territory for sale, and unlike freight transport, there's no quick-fix solution available in the short term.




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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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