The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has noted with dismay a publication in the Ghanaian Times newspaper, titled “President slams Nigerian Border closure”.
The publication dated Tuesday, 29th October, 2019 creates the impression that the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, sought to undermine the diplomatic process that is currently ongoing to resolve the matter.
The Ministry will like to state that the headline is misleading, as President Akufo-Addo never made any such pronouncement. For the avoidance of doubt, the words of the President are reproduced below:
“We are about to enter a delicate period in the ECOWAS journey, looking ahead at the possibility of a single currency and trying to forge greater integration between our economies, and at the same time we have important security issues that confront us. We have this business of the closure of the border in Benin which will seem, to some people, to be a big blow to the ECOWAS project. There are other considerations that we have to look at and examine so that we can live in this region in harmony, and allow each of our national ambitions to be fulfilled. There is a lot of room for continued jaw-jawing and dialoguing and cross fertilisation of ideas between your country and Ghana.”
It will also be recalled that the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, MP, and Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, held separate meetings with their Nigerian counterparts on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, in Abuja, capital of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to resolve the challenges facing Ghanaian companies and traders, following the closure of the Nigerian border.
Nigeria’s decision to close its land borders was aimed at cracking down on the smuggling of rice.
Ghana’s recommendations are to be submitted to the Nigerian authorities on Thursday October 30, 2019. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration will update the citizenry through media publications after Thursday’s follow-up meeting in Abuja.
Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, MP
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration