Home Africa Ghanaian Delegation Meets Nigerian Authorities Over Borders Closure

Ghanaian Delegation Meets Nigerian Authorities Over Borders Closure

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A Ghanaian delegation led by Hon. Charles Owiredu, a Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has presented copies of the documents containing particulars of Ghanaian drivers and traders stranded at the Seme-Krake border on Thursday October 31, 2019 as had been requested by the Nigerian officials at the first Abuja meeting on the on the  borders closure. 

The delegation which included a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Carlos Ahenkorah, a Deputy Commmissioner of   Customs, Seidu Yakubu and Senior Officers from Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Ministry held meetings with the Comptroller General of Customs Services, Nigeria Col Hameed Abdulai Ali, on the need to reopen the Nigerian borders.

The delegation also held discussions with the 

Nigerian Minister of state for Trade, Industry and Investment, Hajia Yalwaji Katagum, and Nigerian Minister of state for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada.

The first meeting which took place at the office of the Comptroller General   Col, Hameed Ibrahim Ali in Abuja ended on a positive note. 

The Abuja discussions centred on the need for Nigerian authorities to implement its part of the agreement reached a couple of weeks ago saying if Ghana submitted information about companies and drivers stuck at the Seme-Krake border, they will create a safe passage for them to enter Nigeria with their goods. 

The agreement was reached when Ghana’s Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyeremanten met with their Nigerian counterparts on October 16, 2019.

At the said meeting which also took place in Abuja, the Nigerian  authorities explained that the aim of the border closure was to prevent the entry of contraband goods from Benin including rice and Ghana was not the target. 

During the latest meeting,  Col. Ibrahim Ali explained the situation that had given rise to the closure of the borders mainly arising out of the fragrant disregard of the Protocol on ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) and acts that undermined the security of Nigeria by the Republic of Benin.

Agreements

After extensive discussions on expeditious action to lessen the continued negative impact of the border closure on Ghana, the two customs entities agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The MoU will include the exchange of Manifest of goods emanating from both countries and pre-shipment arrangements.

It was agreed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration will kickstart the process by requesting the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority to submit the draft MoU on the said customs cooperation for the consideration of the Nigerian authorities.

Furthermore, during the separate meetings with the State Ministers, it was agreed that the list of 51 trucks still at the Seme border should also be submitted to the Nigerian authorities by the Acting Head of Mission of the Ghana High Commission.

The delegation had a day earlier met with Ghanaian stranded drivers at the Seme-Krake Border of Nigeria and Benin.

The borders were closed on August 21, 2019.

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