Ghana, Nigeria to strengthen ties

Presdent Mahama and President Buhari in a meeting

Presdent Mahama and President Buhari in a meeting

ECONOMIC cooperation between Ghana and Nigeria should expect a boost, following an agreement by the Presidents of the two countries to revive the Joint Ghana-Nigeria Commission.

The two leaders came out of the Peduase Lodge in the Eastern Region, to announce their intentions after three hours of bilateral talks.

President Muhamadu Buhari arrived in the country yesterday, for a day’s working visit to cement Ghana’s long-standing friendship with Africa’s most populous country.

He was met by President John Dramani Mahama at the Kotoka International Airport.

A throng of Nigerians massed up at the airport under two large banners. Many waved brooms, the insignia of Buhari’s All Progressives Congress, (APC) party.

Ghana and Nigeria share, among others, a common colonial master and despite having oil deposits, the two countries also have a common energy crisis albeit different in its intensity.

Ghana has been relying on gas from energy-troubled Nigeria to sustain thermal energy sources.

But the supply had been frustrated by troubles in Nigeria’s oil sector.

Nigeria is the world’s fifth largest oil producer, but has an average annual per capita power consumption of only 155 kWh, among the lowest in the world. As at May this year, only five out of 23 power plants in the country were functioning.

But power supply has reportedly improved after attaining 5,000 megawatts production

Ghana and Nigeria control 60 per cent of trade in West Africa. Trade between the two countries is heavily driven by oil. The trade in the energy raw material stands at 1.43billion dollars.

The volume of the contributions of other sectors is a measly 130million dollars, pushing total trade to 1.6 billion dollars. But this figure is dwarfed by the volume of trade between Ghana and the European Union which stands at 6.5 billion euros.

No details were given on the scope of economic cooperation announced by the two leaders.

Security was also high on the agenda. Nigeria’s insurgency group, Boko Haram, became a sub-regional problem and grabbed international headlines after capturing more than 200 teenage girls in April last year.

In Buhari’s estimation, the threat of Boko Haram has been virtually limited since he took over power in March.

By Times Reporter 

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