Nigeria, Niger and Benin have identified smuggling of rice and other products as threat to their relationship.
Mrs Paulette Yekpe, Benin Republic Ambassador to Nigeria, revealed that the proposed tripartite meeting would establish a framework to address rice smuggling.
Yekpe has made this known to Journalists on Monday in Abuja during the activities to mark the 58th Independence anniversary of Benin Repiblic, saying that the smuggling of rice and other products posed a threat to the relationship between both countries.
She said: “Nigeria and Benin have historical ties with over 800 kilometres of land borders; no matter the number of custom officers we put to man the place, our borders will always be porous.
“Benin, Nigeria and Niger have decided to meet, based on what is happening these days when talking about rice smuggling.
“When people come into our country because of ECOWAS, we cannot reject them; we have no right to; we have been fined for stopping them before for bringing rice in.
“ECOWAS had fined us; what such people say is we are travelling to Niger and once they are somewhere in Bardi, they go to Kebbi, Kano and that is what it is.”
In separate interview, Sen. Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), said: “We have been having problem in illegal trade in rice and other imported goods from Benin Republic.
“I think it has been well conducted in a manner that does not dare us to say what will Nigeria do? It is rather caused by a few of our businessmen.
“The government of Benin Republic has been interested in making sure that the kind of trade that goes on between the two countries is very great, because we are the best of neigbours.”