The Ghanaian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Charles Owiredu, yesterday, met with the Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, over the continuous closure of the nation’s borders.
The parley followed an earlier meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and his Ghanaian counterpart, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, who was accompanied by the Ghanaian Minister of Trade, Hon. Alan Kyerematen.
The Meeting between Owiredu and Dada discussed measures to ameliorate the challenges faced by Ghanaian traders to move their goods into Nigeria due to the ongoing temporary closure of the land borders.
Dada, according to Kimiebi Ebienfa, of the Crises Monitoring and Public Communications Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reassured the visiting Ghanaian delegation that the temporary closure of the land borders was not targeted at Ghanaian traders, adding that the Federal Government is duly committed to addressing the challenges.
Dada further said the Federal Government had no choice than to close the land borders temporarily because of the proliferation of illicit goods into the county.
Dada also said the main objective was to tackle the security challenges facing the country and the attendant loss of revenue due to the high degree of smuggling activities.
“The Meeting agreed that in order to address the concerns raised by the Republic of Ghana, a census of vehicles coming into Nigeria from Ghana will be conducted to ascertain facts and collectively device means of giving them access into the country,” Ebienfa said.
In his remarks, the Ghanaian Deputy Minister told Dada that they were in the country to follow up on the recent visit of their senior colleagues on the closure of the borders.
“The aim of the second visit therefore was to present a letter to the Minister from the Ghanaian Government,” Ebienfa also said.
Disclosing that the closure was contrary to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocol of Free Movement of Goods, Owiredu stated that dozens of trucks carrying raw materials from Ghana, were still awaiting clearance at the border.
He prayed for a speedy resolution of the situation for the benefits of both countries.