John Mahama, former president of Ghana, has appealed to the Nigerian government to open up her land borders so that economic activities can resume in West Africa.
Mahama made the plea while delivering the 7th-anniversary lecture, investiture into The Realnews Hall of Fame and the unveiling of a book: ‘Pathways to Political and Economic Development of Africa in Lagos’.
He said the total closure of, especially, the Benin border is having a significant toll on many small and medium businesses especially in Togo, Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire that relied on inter-country trade.
“I am sure that businesses in Nigeria that rely on supplies from these countries are also suffering.
“With the signing of the joint border task force agreement between Nigeria and her neighbours, I will like to take this opportunity to appeal to Nigeria to open up her border so that economic activities can resume.”
Mahama said as a former chairman of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), he has an interest in the progress of ECOWAS and its people.
He noted that it was not by accident that Nigeria is home to the headquarters of the ECOWAS and the largest economy in West Africa.
“Integrated economic activities as envisaged in the area revolve around but are not limited to industry, transport, telecommunications, energy, agriculture, natural resources, commerce, monetary and financial issues, social as well as cultural matters,” he said.
“Back home in Ghana, I also look forward to our government’s intervention that brings an immediate cessation to the forceful and illegal closure of shops of foreigners, especially Nigerians, by members of the local trade associations.”
In August, Nigeria had partially closed its land borders with President Muhammadu Buhari saying the action will check smuggling activities.
In October, the Nigeria Customs Service banned all imports and exports through the land borders.