The Federal Republic of Nigeria has deposited the instrument of Ratification for the African Union Convention on Cross Border Cooperation (also known as “The Niamey Convention”) on 5th October 2023. The deposition was made at the Headquarters of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by the Director General of the National Boundary Commission, Surv. Adamu A. Adaji who was accompanied by the Head of the Nigerian Embassy in Ethiopia, Ambassador Aminu Nasiru. They were received at African Union Commission Headquarters by the Commissioner Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the African Union Commission Ambassador Bankole Adeoye.
In his welcome address, Ambassador Bankole, a one-time Nigerian Ambassador to Ethiopia, welcomed the Nigerian delegation. He underscored the importance of the Niamey Convention to the Peace and Security of the African continent and acknowledged the role of Nigeria in the management of African Borders. He highlighted that Nigeria’s deposition of the instrument of ratification will no doubt motivate other African countries to do the same as Nigeria is now the 9th member state that ratified the Convention, and that the Convention will come into full force after the 15th member state ratified the Convention.
In his statement, the Director General National Boundary Commission Surv. Adaji conveyed the greetings of the Government and People of Nigeria to the leadership of the African Union Commission. He recalled that Nigeria, through the National Boundary Commission has played a prominent role in the conceptualization of the African Union Border Programme (AUBP) and actively participated in the series of workshops and proceedings that led to the finalization of the Niamey Convention. He stated that the coming into force of the Niamey Convention would pave way for cross border cooperation at local, sub-regional and regional levels; ensure effective and integrated border management; combat cross border crime, terrorism, piracy and other forms of crimes; and transform border areas into catalysts for growth, socio-economic and political integration of the continent and the deepening of its unity. He then used the medium to call on other member states who are yet to ratify and deposit the instrument to expedite action because of its immense benefit to the African continent especially in the areas of security, economic cooperation, and trade facilitation.
The Head of the Nigerian Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Ambassador Aminu Nasiru stressed on the commitment of Nigeria in promoting cross border cooperation and strengthening peaceful co-existence and good neighborliness across territorial borders. The Director in-charge of the African Union Border Programme at the AU Headquarters Ambassador Frederic Gateretse-Ngoga welcomed Nigeria’s deposition and informed the meeting that the next meeting of the African Union Border Programme would be held in Abuja, Nigeria.