The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyema and Nigeria Ambassador to Benin Republic, Mr Kayode Oguntuase, have decried the deplorable state of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that they made their views known while speaking with newsmen on Tuesday on the sidelines of the opening of the Joint Border Post by Nigeria and Benin Republic at Seme-Krake, Badagry, Lagos State.
Onyema, who noted that the facility would have positive economic impact on both countries, said the envisaged free movement of persons, goods and services would be hindered by the condition of the road.
“It is totally unacceptable, the condition of the road from Lagos to this place and something has to be done to address it.
“You cannot be talking about the free movement of people and goods without the prerequisite infrastructure to facilitate that free movement.
“So we on the Nigeria side have to do something about it,” he said.
On his part, Oguntuase said the current state of the road, which was one of the busiest highways in the West African sub-region, was an embarrassment to Nigeria.
“We know that government will soon do the needful to fix it. Initially we heard that it was World Bank but I understand that it has been transferred to Nigeria because we wanted to expand the lanes.
“Now that we have taken it over, we should commence action because this is the major linkage to Nigeria and to our commercial city, Lagos,” he said.
The envoy congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari and the President of Benin Republic, Mr Patrice Talon, for the opening of the JBP, stressing that it would deepen bilateral relationship between both countries.
Oguntuase said: “The border post is strategic and the busiest entry point into the country. It is going to ease the movement of persons, services and goods according to the Economic Community of West African States liberalisation policy.
“Apart from that, this border is also important for combating, for preventing, for neutralising anything that could be a security threat to Nigeria. That is why we are very happy that the border is being opened today.
“It will lead to increase in revenue generation because before now, people were using the porous borders to escape from paying some of the tariffs and custom duties.” (NAN)