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Niger-Benin pipeline crisis: No resolution in sight

The meeting of the Benin-Niger inter-state committee has not resolved issues between the neighbours.

The countries partnered with the China National Petroleum Corp on an oil project which has yet to fully take off.

The pipeline, linking Koulele in Niger to the port of Seme in Benin will produce about 90,000 barrels per day.

Niger currently pumps around 20,000 bpd of oil, most of it from China National Petroleum Corp. projects in the Agadem Rift Basin in the country’s southeast.

After months of icy relations, the border remains closed on the Nigerien side.

Benin’s minister of mines Samou Seidou Adambi met his counterpart in Niamey last week.

His president Patrice Talon however deplored that the official could not deliver his message to Abdourahmane Tchiani, the transitional president of Niger.

READ ALSO: ECOWAS bloc under growing pressure [Business Africa]

Niger’s Prime Minister Lamine Ali Zeine reacted Saturday (Jun. 1) saying Tchiani attended another meeting at the time of the minister’s visit. Adding Tchiani did make sure Patrice Talon’s message was received by another member of the CNSP, the name of the junta he presides.

He then accused Benin of driving out Nigerien representatives who arrived at the port.

Benin granted on May 15 temporary and provisional authorization for the first ship to load Nigerian oil at the Sèmè platform.

Benin says that regular pipeline operations require a proper state-to-state relationship framework and calls for the reopening of the border.

Niger which fights terrorism argues the border is closed for security reasons.

Additional sources • Agence Nigérienne de presse – RFI – TV5 Monde

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