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Ghana Appeals Fed Govt To Open Nigeria/Benin Borders

Days after Federal Government ordered the closure of its borders, its counterpart, Ghanaian Government has appealed to the Government to reconsider its stand on border closure with neighbouring West African countries.

This appeal was forwarded to the federal government during a visit by Ghanaian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Botchwey to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama on the possibility of persuading Nigeria to take a second look at the policy.

The closure of the borders with Benin Republic has adversely impacted on Ghanian traders, Botchwey said.

The Minister of Trade, Allan Kyerematen, the acting High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mrs. Iva Denoo followed the Ghanaian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Botchwey to the meeting.

Botchwey’s visit to Abuja was a follow-up to her Tuesday’s parley with the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr. Olufemi Abikoye, in Accra.

According to her, the situation has become so dire that it could lead to political tension in countries severely affected by the decision.

She said: “The closure of the borders has had considerable disruptions to trade in the sub-region, with grave consequential economic effects on Ghanaian traders.”

Onyeama, in his remark, pointed out that the reasons for the closure of the borders, saying that it was done to protect the nation’s economy from smugglers, traffickers and illegal migrants.

Botchwey assured that the government would exhaust all diplomatic avenues to get Nigeria to reopen its western borders for the free flow of goods from Ghana to the sub-region.

She said truckloads of goods from Ghana had been detained at the Seme Border between Benin and Nigeria for weeks, adding that returning the consignments to the seaports would be a major problem as the traders had already lost millions of cedis within the last few weeks.

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