President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo has pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to reopen the closed borders because of its major effect on Ghana’s economy.
Akufo-Addo made this plea to Buhari during a bilateral meeting they had on the sidelines of the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020 in London.
Although the Ghanaian president showed understanding of the fact that Nigeria needed to protect its citizens, he pleaded for an expedited process, saying that the Nigerian market is significant for certain categories of business people in Ghana.
Buhari’s response: In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari explained that closure of Nigerian’s borders was not carried out only because of the smuggling of food products, particularly rice but also because of the smuggling of arms and ammunition into the country.
He said that there was no way he could watch the lives of youths being destroyed with his eyes opened as the security of the country is of utmost concern.
“When most of the vehicles carrying rice and other food products through our land borders are intercepted, you find cheap hard drugs, and small arms, under the food products. This has terrible consequences for any country,” Buhari said.
However, Buhari said it was regrettable that the partial border closure was having negative economic impact on the country’s neighbours but that he could leave his country, particularly the youths, endangered.
He added that the opening of the borders would not happen until the final report of a committee set up on the matter was submitted and considered.
Meanwhile, as Nairametrics reported, the Federal government disclosed that the reopening of the country’s land borders would be based on strict compliance with the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) regional trade protocol agreements.
According to Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, the opening of the borders would depend largely on the recommendations from the patrol team set up to monitor compliance with trade protocols. The patrol team comprises relevant security agencies in an exercise codenamed, Operation Exercise Swift Response.