President Akufo-Addo has donated a sum of 450,000 CFA to stranded Ghanaian drivers at the Seme-Krake Border of Nigeria and Benin.
Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Carlos Ahenkorah, made the donation on behalf of the President.
The money is to help ease their financial burden as the Nigerian and Ghanaian authorities dialogue over the reopening of Nigeria’s borders.
Mr. Ahenkorah and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Charles Owiredu, met with the Ghanaian truck drivers stranded at the Seme-Krake border.
The meeting afforded the deputy ministers and the delegation from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and CEPS to collate information about the particulars of affected drivers, companies and items on board their trucks to the Nigerian market.
Addressing the drivers, Mr. Owiredu described the closure as unfortunate and commended the drivers for their fortitude in the midst of the challenges.
He explained that the visit was aimed at getting a data about the traders affected by the closure of the Seme-Krake border.
He assured the drivers of government’s support to address the problem as quickly as possible.
On his part, Mr. Ahenkorah said “government is working around the clock to ensure that the safe passage the Nigerian authorities promised to provide for Ghanaian traders becomes a reality. ”
According to him, the effect of the closure of the Nigerian border will affect Ghana’s projections on raking in foreign exchange through the non-traditional export platform.
He was however upbeat that by the close of this week after meeting with their Nigerian counterparts, an amicable solution will be found.
Meanwhile, one of the drivers, Tahiru Mohammed, recounting his ordeal at the Seme-Krake border, said ” I have arrived here on August 16, 2019 but I have compelled to stay here and am finding very difficult to feed myself and my two mates.”
The stranded driver added that about 200 trucks from Ghana have been parked at the border and a good number of them have had their parts including batteries stolen.
The latest trip to the Seme-Krake border is a follow up on the one made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey and Trade and Industry Minister, Kwadwo Alan Kyerematen a couple of weeks ago to Abuja to find a solution to the problem.
It would be recalled that during the Abuja meeting, the Nigerian authorities explained that the aim of the border closure was to prevent the entry of contraband goods from Benin including rice and Ghana was not the target.
They expressed regrets at the impact of the border closure on Ghanaian businesses and promised to create a safe passage for Ghanaian traders to enable them to transport their goods to Nigeria.
One of the requests made by Nigeria was for Ghana to furnish her with details about the companies, trucks and goods being exported to her market.
The borders were closed in August 2019.