Nigeria’s foreign affairs minister, Geoffrey Onyeama has responded to Ghana’s plea for the Nigerian government to open its closed border.
It would be recalled that Ghana’s foreign and regional integration minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey had asked the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to allow goods from Ghana into Nigeria, as Nigeria’s border closure is hitting Ghanaian traders hard.
Botchwey said since goods from Nigeria are allowed into Ghana, the Nigerian government should also allow goods from Ghana into Nigeria.
“As we speak, Nigerian goods are entering Ghana without any problem and I think that we should find ways of isolating the issues and the countries that you have problems with so that Ghana’s exports can enter your market without being lumped up with all these issues that have emerged,” Botchwey was quoted as saying.
In his response to Botchwey’s quest on behalf of the Nigerian government, Onyeama said the border closure is only targeting criminal activities, and not any country.
Briefing some newsmen after a meeting with Botchwey, his Ghanaian counterpart in Abuja, Onyeama said “we are trying to find a way through because the mischief is not related to trade with Ghana.”
Onyeama stated, “No country is targeted; we are within ECOWAS; we respect the ECOWAS rules, free movement of persons, and goods and that should continue.
“We are targeting criminal activities and not countries. So, in addressing a particular country’s issues, it would not be a disadvantage to another country because for us, it is a measure to address a particular issue.”
It is now common knowledge that the Nigerian government has closed its border since August 2019, restricting both legitimate and illegitimate goods into the country.