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Ghana has no intention to confiscate Nigerians’ money – says High Commission



Ghana has no intention to confiscate Nigerians’ money – says High Commission

…As Nigerian, Ghanaian foreign ministers plan meeting, to resolve trade issues caused by border closure***

Nigeria High Commission in Accra, Ghana has refuted social media report that Nigerians living in Ghana without resident permit will not be able to withdraw their money from the banks as from November.

A statement signed by the Head of Chancery, Abdulazeez Ibrahim, the Mission described the report as ‘fake news’; and therefore, assured Nigerians with banking operations in Ghana to disregard the news, stressing “Relevant Ghanaian authorities have disclaimed such directives and appeal to all and sundry to remain calm.”

“The attention of the Nigeria High Commission in Ghana has been drawn to fake news circulating on social media insinuating that some unnamed Ghanaian authorities have issued a directive forbidding non-resident Nigerians from operating bank accounts in Ghana.

“The fake news purportedly advised such Nigerians to withdraw their money from the Ghanaian banking system in order to avoid being blocked as from November, 2019.

“It ended by advising Nigerians to “be wise and get your documents to avoid this storm seeping away all you have laboured for years in a day,” it said.

The High Commission, however, assured all Nigerians with banking operations in Ghana to remain calm. 

In the meantime, Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama and his Ghanaian counterpart, Mrs Shirley Botchwey, said on Wednesday that both countries had agreed on modalities to resolve the trade challenges arising from the recent border closure by Nigeria.

Both ministers disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Abuja after a closed-door meeting.

Botchwey, who was accompanied by the Ghanaian Trade Minister, Hon. Alan Kyerematen, is expected to engage in further discussions with Nigeria’s Trade Minister and Comptroller General of Customs.

 According to Onyeama, the meeting between the both countries is aimed at addressing the “collateral damage” arising from “some mischief”.

He said that the issues at stake would be addressed as soon as possible.

He gave an assurance that after the meeting between the ministers and relevant stakeholders, the challenges militating against the ease of trade between Ghana and Nigeria, especially in relation to the Nigeria-Benin border closure would be resolved quickly.

Also read: NIS C-G restates commitment to Nigeria-Ghana relationship

“You are here to address the issue of collateral damage to your country as a result of the border closure in place at the moment.

“And we are trying to find a way through because the mischief is not related to trade with Ghana.

“We are hoping that from there you will be able to take back positive message to your President, the business, and trade community.

“And we will sort it out as soon as possible because time is of the essence.

“No country is targeted; we are within ECOWAS; we respect the ECOWAS rules, free movement of persons, and goods and that should continue.

“We are targeting criminal activities and not countries.

“So, in addressing a particular country’s issues, it would not be a disadvantage to another country because for us, it is a measure to address a particular issue,” Onyeama said.

Responding, Bothwey said that the visit was to bring to the fore the challenges being faced by Ghanaian exporters, currently unable to transport goods into Nigeria as a result of the Nigerian-Benin border closure.

 “We came here with the issues and within a few minutes of our meeting we have sort of found common grounds in resolving it and from here we would be going to meet with the minister of trade and also the customs boss.

“We are hoping that quickly, we should resolve the issues so that our exports to Nigeria will continue to have safe passage without any impediment as a result of what is not supposed to affect Ghana negatively.

“For thirty days or so, we have had several trucks that have been stuck  at the Benin side of the border.

“They have not been able to cross into Nigeria and hopefully this will be a thing of the past.

“We have agreed on the process that would lead to it being resolved and the first is to give our Nigerian counterparts more details.

“Details of the companies that do business in Nigeria, the kind of business that they do, and the details of the trucks that have been stuck on the Benin side of the border.

“Once we are able to give them that, both sides will determine the modalities that we need to put in place for the safe passage,” Botchwey said.

She said that at the moment, there was no impediment on the way of Nigerian businesses that export their goods to Ghana.

She described the meeting as a fruitful one and expressed optimism that the meetings with Nigeria’s trade minister and Comptroller General of Customs would lead to the emplacement of  measures that would help resolve the issues as quickly as possible.

Also speaking, Kyerematen said that Nigerians and Ghanaians had been trading for a long time, hence the need for a practical approach to tackling emerging challenges.

He said that occasionally in business, challenges would come up, but the most important thing would be to have a formula for dealing with such challenges when they came up.

Responding to a question on the retail trade tussle between Nigerian and Ghanaian spare part dealers in Ghana, Kyerematen said that the issue had been resolved and that normalcy had been restored.

“We need within the context of ECOWAS to try and deal with some of these challenges in a more structured way.

“Yes, there is a domestic legislation in our country that basically has been the basis for the representation that has been made by the Ghanaian traders.

“On the side of the Nigerian traders they have also made references to the ECOWAS protocol which also has provisions that support them.

“I am pleased that we have found a way to work together to deal with these problems,” Kyerematen said.

Retail trade laws in Ghana however, have limited the capacity of foreigners to engage in retail business in that country.

Hence, the engagement of Nigerian spare part dealers in that country led their Ghanaian counterparts to attack them and force them to close their shops, recently. 

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Sri Lankan President Thanks Seychelles Defence Forces For Rescuing Sri Lankan Vessel From Somali Pirates



President Ramkalawan says Seychellois military boarded boat with utmost courage to take complete control

 The Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) Special Forces and Seychelles Coast Guards on board Coast Guards vessel Topaz led a successful operation to regain control of a Sri Lankan vessel hijacked by armed Somali pirates.

Seychellois special military forces boarded the boat with utmost courage to take complete control of the vessel and rescue our Sri Lankan brothers.

The Commander in Chief of the Seychelles, President Wavel Ramkalawan has spoken to the Chief of Defence Forces, Brigadier Michael Rosette to congratulate the Special Forces and Coast Guards team on a well-executed and successful mission.

“This is the spirit of the Seychelles Defence Forces. Professionalism, courage, and bravery are the tenets of the new spirit in the force. Though small, we will make our contribution to attaining maritime security, peace, and determination in the fight against terrorism to ensure that the world, especially in our part of the Indian Ocean remains a safe and peaceful region. Once again, I reiterate the  pride and confidence of the Seychellois nation in the Seychelles Defence Forces.”

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GoG: Promoting Trans-boundary Management For Sustainable Socio-Economic Development



…Mission builds upon previous efforts by AU-IBAR in the beneficiary countries (Benin and Togo) for the national validation of the report on the State of the Transboundary Marine Environment (SoME)

NAIROBI, Kenya, January 23, 2024/ — From January 21st to 27th, 2024, AU-IBAR is on a mission in the republics of Benin and Togo. The mission is dedicated to supporting the implementation of a Transboundary Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) initiative between the two nations. Funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), under the project “Conservation of Aquatic Biodiversity within the Framework of the Africa Blue Economy Strategy,” this initiative holds the promise of fostering socio-economic development through the judicious use of marine resources.

Collaborative Efforts: AU-IBAR is collaborating with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) body, the Abidjan Convention, and the World Bank-funded West African Coastal Area Management (WACA) Project. The SIDA-funded project, implemented by AU-IBAR, involves an assessment to map the extent of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) usage in Africa as a management tool for the conservation of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems in the west, central, and northern regions of Africa.

Mission Objectives: This mission builds upon previous efforts by AU-IBAR in the beneficiary countries (Benin and Togo) for the national validation of the report on the State of Transboundary Marine Environment (SoME). The current objective is to secure joint expert validation of the SoME report and obtain high-level political endorsement for the provisions of the jointly validated report, demonstrating the commitment of both countries to the cause. Participants in the joint validation workshop include WACA project-nominated committee members from Benin and Togo, representatives from the Abidjan Convention, and government authorities from both nations, alongside relevant AU-IBAR staff.

Political Commitment: The opening statements during the joint meeting saw representatives from the Governments of Benin and Togo, the Executive Secretary of the Abidjan Convention, and the representative of the Director of AU-IBAR express unwavering commitment to the transboundary marine management process. Both the Director of AU-IBAR and the Executive Secretary of the Abidjan Convention reiterated their support for the Governments of Benin and Togo in realizing their shared vision for the sustainable management of coastal and marine resources in the designated shared maritime boundary.

Key Outcomes: The pinnacle achievement of the joint meeting is the validation of the study report on the state of the marine environment between Benin and Togo. This validation marks a significant milestone towards establishing the transboundary MSP between the two countries. AU-IBAR Director, DR Huyam Salih, emphasized that this accomplishment is a crucial step forward in enhancing aquatic biodiversity conservation and environmental protection in the Gulf of Guinea.

Conclusion: The joint expert consultation workshop serves as a testament to the collaborative efforts aimed at promoting transboundary management of shared marine aquatic ecosystems in the Gulf of Guinea. The validated report and political commitment from Benin and Togo are integral to realizing the socio-economic development potential inherent in the sustainable use of marine resources. As AU-IBAR continues its mission, the hope is that this initiative will serve as a model for other regions seeking to harmonize efforts for the conservation and management of their shared marine ecosystems.
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Foreign News

U.S.-British Strikes In Yemen Left 5 Dead, Say Houthi Rebels



The U.S. and British military strikes in Yemen have left five Houthi fighters dead and six others injured, the Iran-aligned rebels said on Friday, vowing retaliation.

“The American and British enemy bears full responsibility for its criminal aggression,’’ the Houthi military spokesman Yehya Saree said in a statement.

Saree said the massive attack had targeted several Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen including the capital Sana’a.

“It will not pass unanswered and without punishment.

“The Yemeni Armed Forces will not hesitate to target sources of threat and all hostile targets on the ground and in the sea,’’ he said. 

  • dpa
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