President Nana Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana has appealed to his Nigerian counterpart, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to open the country’s borders “because the Nigerian market is significant for certain categories of business people in Ghana”.

Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement, said Akufo-Addo made this known on Monday when the duo held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020 in London.

During the meeting, Buhari had said that the partial closure of Nigeria’s borders was not solely because of food products, particularly rice, which were being smuggled into Nigeria, but also because of arms and ammunition, as well as hard drugs, which were also being smuggled into Nigeria.

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Buhari had explained that he could not keep his eyes open and watch the lives of youths being destroyed by cheap hard drugs, while the security of the country is compromised by the influx of arms.

“When most of the vehicles carrying rice and other food products through our land borders are intercepted, you find cheap hard drugs, and small arms, under the food products. This has terrible consequences for any country.”

Buhari, however, had said it was regrettable that the partial border closure was having “negative economic impact on our neighbours,” but added that “we cannot leave our country, particularly the youths, endangered”.

He had also added that the opening of the borders would not happen till the final report of a committee set up on the matter was submitted and considered.

“Once the committee comes up with its recommendations, we will sit and consider them.”

But President Akufo-Addo, while showing an understanding of the need for Nigeria to protect her citizens, pleaded for “an expedited process, because the Nigerian market is significant for certain categories of business people in Ghana.”