By Ismaila Chafe
Nigeria and Ghana have agreed to intensify bilateral cooperation for the benefit and development of both countries and that of the West African sub-region.
Mr Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity (Office of the Vice-President), confirmed this development in a statement he issued in Abuja on Sunday.
He said that the bilateral agreement was part of the outcome of the closed door meeting between Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and the visiting Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, held at the official residence of the Nigerian acting President on Sunday in Abuja.
According to the presidential aide, during the meeting that followed, the two leaders highlighted the critical role that Nigeria and Ghana play as the “centre piece’’ of the West African sub-region.
“Discussions between the two leaders touched on the forthcoming African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, ongoing negotiations on the Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), and the revitalisation of the Ghana-Nigeria Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation.
“Both leaders pledged to intensify bilateral cooperation for the benefit and development of the sub-region,’’ he said.
According to the statement, Akufo-Addo thanked the acting president for receiving his delegation on a special day, when Nigeria was commemorating Eid-el-Fitr.
He said that his visit was part of an ongoing tour of the sub-region to “take stock of what’s going on, and to renew relations’’.
The Ghanaian president also extended his good wishes to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Osinbajo on his part thanked the Ghanaian president for visiting Nigeria.
He said: “We are extremely excited about the ECOWAS sub-region and hope that we will be able to do a lot together.’’
Members of Akufo-Addo’s delegation included Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, and Minister of National Security, Albert Kan Dapaah, as well officials of Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.