Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and his Ghanaian counterpart, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, have met in Abuja to deliberate on the closure of the Nigeria-Benin border.
The meeting comes as the Republic of Ghana laments the collateral damage suffered by Ghanaian exporters occasioned by the closing of the Nigeria’s land borders.
Also present at the meeting were the Ghanaian Minister of Trade, Hon. Alan Kyerematen, and the Ghanaian acting High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mrs Iva Denoo, who accompanied Botchwey to the closed-door meeting with Mr Onyeama.
The meeting, according to Kimiebi Ebienfa of the Crises Monitoring and Public Communications Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, specifically discussed the collateral damage suffered by Ghanaian exporters and resolved to address the issue.
The Federal Government, had in its effort to curb perennial smuggling through the country’s borders, indefinitely closed the land borders to all movement of goods.
The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col Hameed Ali (retd) said in Abuja that the government banned all goods from being exported or imported through the country’s land borders, adding that the decision was to ensure total control over the borders.
The meeting between Ghana and Nigeria is coming on the heels of concerns by neighbouring countries over the adverse effect of the closure on their economies.
“The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, received in audience, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Integration of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, on Wednesday, 16th October 2019, in his office on a courtesy visit,” Ebienfa stated.
“The Ghanaian Foreign Minister was accompanied by the Minister of Trade, Hon. Alan Kyerematen and the acting High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mrs Iva Denoo.
“The meeting discussed the closure of the Nigeria-Benin border and the collateral damage suffered by Ghanaian exporters and resolved to address the issue.”