The President of the Peoples Republic of Benin, Colonel Mathieu Kerekou, went to Nigeria last week for a four day official visit.
The President of the Peoples Republic of Benin, Colonel Mathieu Kerekou, went to Nigeria last week for a four day official visit. He discussed trade and cultural exchanges between the two countries with the Nigerian Head of State, General Olusegun Obansanjo.
SYNOPSIS: Colonel Kerekou was greeted at Lagos airport by General Obasanjo and senior officials of the Federal Military government. The Colonel led a thirteen man delegation in two rounds of bilateral talks on economic relations. Benin needs outlets for its skilled manpower, for whom it has little work at home. In a previous visit, the President had stressed the need for close economic cooperation to offset the decline in his country's agricultural production. The falling export of cocoa, coffee, and karite nuts lies at the heart of Benin's unstable political history.
The decline in cocoa export has been exacerbated by recent changes of economic policy in Western Nigeria. Greater customs control drastically reduced the large quantities once smuggled in by Nigerian farmers.
Benin now relies heavily on development assistance. With few natural mineral resources, she would welcome the support of her oil rich neighbour. In addition to the main purpose of his visit, President Kerekou completed a busy cultural programme in Lagos and Kaduna before returning home.