GHANA – Ghana’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mohammad Habibu Tijani (MP), has revealed that Nigeria will soon open its closed borders to Ghanaian goods.
Nigeria – Africa’s most populous nation – unexpectedly closed its land borders to all movements of goods in August 2019 banning both imports and exports through land.
This unilateral decision significantly affected Ghana which is a major exporter of agricultural goods to Nigeria.
According to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade, Ghana exported to Nigeria goods worth US$80.96 Million in 2018 with the agricultural sector accounting for over 90 percent of these exports.
Hundreds of trucks carrying Ghanaian produce were as a result of the export/import ban denied entry at the Nigeria-Benin border leading to major losses to the Ghanaian economy.
The move also sparked a series of negotiations between the Ghanaian foreign ministry and its Nigerian counterpart culminating in a high-level meeting between the presidents of the two countries in Abuja, Nigeria.
The meeting between the two head of states brought the much-needed reprieve to Ghanaian traders who have been counting losses since the ban was enforced in August.
Mr Tijani who was speaking in an interview with Empire News on the sidelines of a geostrategic event dubbed the MEDays International forum in Morocco’s city of Tangier revealed that Nigeria had agreed to open its borders after President Muhammadu Buhari met his counter President Akufo-Addo of Ghana.
The deputy minister further revealed that Nigeria had agreed to open its borders to Ghanaian goods but on a condition that Ghana meets its requirement for free movement of goods between the two countries.
Mr. Tijani said that one of the conditions by Nigeria was that Ghana’s Customs officers will follow goods that are of Ghanaian origin into Nigeria and hand them over to their counterparts to ensure that there was no possibility of repackaging of goods from other countries.
Although no specific dates were given, the deputy foreign minister was hopeful that Nigeria would soon honor its word and open its borders to Ghana especially after the meeting between the two head of states.