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PROJECT TOPIC: BORDER MARKETS AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION IN NIGERIA AND BENIN REPUBLIC: A CASE STUDY OF TSAMIYA AND LOLO

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CHAPTER ONE

BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

1.0        Introduction

Tsamiya and Lolo Markets existed since the pre-colonial period. They are located at the extreme end of Nigeria’s international border with Benin Republic in the north-west. The attainment of independence of the two countries by their former colonial masters has contributed significantly in the economic development of those two border markets. The geographical proximity of these border markets facilitates cross-border trade in the area.

It would be recalled that the European partition and eventual colonization of Africa created a lot of tariff walls within West African sub-region, particularly between the Francophone and English speaking countries. With the attainment of independence, the pattern of trade relations developed across the border areas of Nigeria and Benin. Citizens of these areas eagerly entered in to the cross border trade as an easy means of living. Consequently, there developed large markets with full of goods traded and people who come daily from across areas of the two countries to buy and sell. Tsamiya and Lolo are typical of these border markets which developed out of this economic necessity. The large-scale economic activities taking place in Tsamiya and Lolo towns attracted a large number of people to settle in the towns. Eventually, the same ethnic groups are virtually found along the border areas of the two countries namely Nigeria and Benin.

Geographical proximity and historical relations are two must important factors that led to the growth of the two border markets. The River Niger also has been another important factor in the development of cross-border trade in both Tsamiya and Lolo. The fertility of the land consequently attracted the earliest inhabitants in the area and serve as a basis for large-scale commercial activities.


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