By Sunday Oyinloye
Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas says he will build on the existing brotherly relationship between Nigeria and Ghana even as he disclosed that the two countries have issues of mutual interests, including collaboration in fighting piracy in the gulf of Guinea, human trafficking, smuggling of arms, and terrorism.
Ambassador Ibas while presenting his Letters of Credence to the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo promised to do more to enhance the cooperation between the two countries
According to him, Nigeria and Ghana share a special bond of friendship that pre-dates independence adding that both countries continue to enjoy close bi-lateral cooperation in areas that deepen culture, political, economic and trade relations
The High Commissioner noted that although relations at the retail-trade level have experienced some disputes, “the needed attention towards a resolution is being given at the highest level. I commend your efforts for the providing a platform to address the retail-trade impasse, which is currently receiving attention by the Trade Ministers of both countries.”
Ibas said further “Nigeria and Ghana are faced with similar security challenges including piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, terrorism, trafficking in small arms and light weapons, drug and human trafficking and cybercrime. As you are aware, Your Excellency, both countries are collaborating to mitigate the challenges at bilateral and multilateral levels, while seeking to grow our economies.
“This serves the interest of our two countries and further fosters conducive environment for peace, stability and development of the sub-region, the African continent and the world at large. As the two leading countries in the West African sub-region, we have also been playing leadership roles in ECOWAS, and with the take-off of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, headquartered here in Accra, Nigeria reassures of its full cooperation in ensuring the continent harnesses the limitless opportunities for the industrialisation of Africa under the trade bloc”.
Ambassador Ibas disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government remains committed to the three cardinal objectives of his administration, which rest on improving security, revitalising the national economy and improving governance by tackling corruption.
“The overall objective of the government is to foster the revitalization of the Nigerian economy with collaboration of reliable allies such as Ghana. Your Excellency, under your Chairmanship of ECOWAS and with the Africa Continental Free Trade Area office headquartered in Ghana, I believe we can achieve the dream of strengthening the economic base of the sub-region and making the continent take its rightful place in the comity of nations
“I will strive to expand and deepen friendship, and enhance mutually-beneficial cooperation between our governments and people, to take Nigeria-Ghana relations to new heights.
“I would also like to take advantage of your personal camaraderie with President Buhari to re-energise relations between the two countries in areas such as tourism and entertainment, trade, agriculture, education, for our mutual benefit. I firmly believe that, in carrying out this important mission, I shall have the friendly cooperation and full support from you, your Government and the good people of Ghana” he said.
The High Commissioner conveyed the best wishes of President Muhammadu Buhari , the government and people of Nigeria and also congratulated President Akufo-Addo on his re-election
In his remarks, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo re- iterated the brotherly relations between the two countries. He welcomed the new Ambassador and assured him of his maximum cooperation in ensuring his success.