Niger Limits Freight Removal to Togo to Vehicles Registered in Togo and Niger

Tuesday, 14 May 2024 17:03
Niger Limits Freight Removal to Togo to Vehicles Registered in Togo and Niger

(Togo First) - Niger authorities have introduced new measures regarding freight removal from Togo. The activity is now reserved only for vehicles registered in Niger and Togo. This decision aims to strengthen the Togo-Niger cooperation, amidst rising tensions between Benin and Niger. 

The Nigerien Ministry of Transport and Equipment announced these measures in a May 11 statement.  "These measures are in line with the bilateral agreement on road transport between the Republic of Niger and the Togolese Republic," said Colonel Major Salissou Mahaman Salissou, Secretary-General of the ministry, in a statement released on May 11.

The statement, however, stressed that exceptions may be granted for vehicles from Burkina Faso, Mali, and Ghana with ministerial authorization. "Upon exceptional authorization from the Minister of Transport and Equipment, vehicles registered in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Ghana may also participate in freight removal"

"Any violator will be subject to sanctions provided for by the regulations in force," the ministry warned.

The move comes amidst regional tensions. Since the sanctions imposed by ECOWAS, including the closure of borders, Niger has used the port of Lomé to transit its goods through Burkina Faso. After the sanctions were lifted, Nigerien and Togolese authorities ramped up efforts to bolster their cooperation, including several incentives for Nigerien operators.

Meanwhile, Niger kept its border with Benin closed, due to political tensions after the Coup that overthrew the Bazoum regime. In response, last week, Benin blocked the loading of Nigerien oil at the port of Sèmè-Podji, demanding that the new Nigerien authorities first normalize bilateral relations by reopening the borders before any shipment of the crucial crude oil, crucial for the Nigerien budget.

The recent announcement by Niger authorities could translate into stronger trade with Togo. Before the recent regional crisis broke out, Niger represented only 5% of transit via the port of Lomé, a share that Lomé has wanted to increase.

Fiacre E. Kakpo

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