*Urges security of Gulf of Guinea against piracy
By Benjamin Arida://
Efforts are in top gear to put an end to the trade dispute between Ghana and Nigeria with a view to further strengthen the bilateral relationship and economies of both countries, the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II in Ashanti Region of Ghana has assured.
This was even as the foremost monarch called for more collaboration among the Gulf of Guinea States, especially Ghana and Nigeria to secure the area against piracy.
Osei Tutu, according to a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja, spoke when the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas paid a working visit to his palace, saying he would continue to support the mission and ensure the trade dispute between both countries becomes a thing of the past.
According to him, piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is hampering navigation and trade within the coast, stressing the need for collaboration among the Gulf of the Guinea states, especially Ghana and Nigeria to secure the area.
The Asantehene, while commending Ambassador Ibas for his more than 30 years’ meritorious service to Nigeria, said: “I hope you will bring your vast experience as a former Vice Admiral to bear in your present assignment as the High Commissioner of Nigeria to Ghana.”
Earlier, the envoy said the purpose of his visit was to familiarize himself with the region and explore means of further engagements while he thanked the monarch for playing host to a large number of Nigerians in his domain and his fatherly role towards them.
Ambassador Ibas was particularly thankful to the monarch for his role in handling the trade issue in Ashanti Region, saying he has already advised the Nigerian community to always adhere to the laid down law of the host country.
He noted that the relationship between Ghana and Nigeria has always been cordial spanning many years of engagements, stressing that it has continued to enjoy support at the highest political level.
The High Commissioner was also at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST in Kumasi where he was received by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Rita Akosua Dickson.
While informing the Vice Chancellor that the visit was a familiarization one, Ambassador Ibas commended her for “effectively handling the affairs of the university and Nigerian nationals there” and promised to work closely with KNUST particularly on issues affecting Nigerian students.
Responding, Professor Dickson said she was looking forward to a greater collaboration with the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana and promised to invite the Ambassador to an upcoming International Day in January 2022.
It would be recalled that Ambassador Ibas had earlier paid a courtesy visit to the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah and had a robust discussion him on issues of mutual benefits to the two countries.
He also engaged with the Nigerian community in Ghana at a town hall meeting where he enjoined Nigerians to continue to live together peacefully with their host country.
The envoy particularly reminded them of the need to always be good ambassadors of Nigeria and respect the law of Ghana, assuring them that the Mission was committed to the welfare of every Nigerian in Ghana.