Nigerien authorities explained the reasons for their recent suspension of the transit of oil products from Niger to Mali. In a statement issued on the evening of Tuesday, September 27, Niger’s government spokesman, Abdoulkadri Tidjani, said the measure “has nothing to do” with statements made by Mali’s interim Prime Minister Abdoulaye Maiga at the United Nations General Assembly last Saturday.
“As part of the cross-border transit of hydrocarbons, the Minister of Finance, through the Directorate General of Customs, had authorized some companies to transport petroleum products from Nigeria to some neighboring countries, including Mali in August 2022,” recalled Minister Tidjani before stressing that the suspension was the result of fraudulent practices in which these companies were engaged.
“Following the observation of fraudulent practices of transfer of these products exempted from taxes and customs duties on the national territory, the Minister of Finance has taken the decision to suspend these authorizations, “he said.
The press release also states that “this suspension measure does not affect exports of petroleum products refined in Niger, which continue to be exported to Mali.
Relations between Niger and Mali have not been good in recent days, especially after the Malian junta called the Nigerien president a foreigner last Saturday. As a result, many voices were quickly raised to point out that this suspension is a retaliatory measure against Mali.
The Nigerien authorities finally reassured national and international opinion that “contrary to an opinion conveyed by social networks, this measure prior to the statement of the interim Prime Minister of Mali at the tribune of the United Nations General Assembly has nothing to do with it. The statement in question did not and cannot explain any reaction on the part of the Government of Niger.