Nigeria’s new High Commissioner to Ghana Ibok-Ette Ekwe Ibas has promised to deepen the friendly relations between Ghana and his country during his tenure.

Ibas, Nigeria’s former chief of naval staff, spoke recently when he presented his letter of credence to President Nana Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House in Accra.

He promises to do more to enhance Nigeria-Ghana cooperation in fighting piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, human trafficking, smuggling of arms and terrorism.

“I will strive to expand and deepen friendship, and enhance mutually-beneficial cooperation between our governments and people, to take Nigeria-Ghana relations to new heights.

“I would also like to take advantage of your personal camaraderie with President Buhari to re-energise relations between the two countries in areas such as tourism and entertainment, trade, agriculture, education, for our mutual benefit. I firmly believe that, in carrying out this important mission, I shall have the friendly cooperation and full support from you, your Government and the good people of Ghana,” he said.

Noting that both Ghana and Nigeria shared a special bond of friendship that pre-dates independence, he said it was heart-warming that both countries continue to enjoy close bilateral cooperation in areas that deepen culture, political, economic and trade relations.

The High Commissioner noted that although relations at the retail-trade level have experienced some disruptions, the needed attention towards a resolution is being given at the highest level and commended President Akufo-Addo’s efforts at providing a platform to address the retail-trade impasse which, he said, is currently receiving attention by the Trade Ministers of both countries.

Ibas said Ghana and Nigeria’s collaboration to mitigate common challenges at bilateral and multilateral levels “serves the interest of our two countries and further fosters a conducive environment for peace, stability and development of the sub-region, the African continent and the world at large,” stating that “as the two leading countries in the West African sub-region, we have also been playing leadership roles in ECOWAS, and with the take-off of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, headquartered here in Accra.”

He assured of Nigeria’s full cooperation in ensuring the continent harnesses the limitless opportunities for the industrialisation of Africa under the AFCFTA trade bloc.

Ambassador Ibas disclosed that Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s government remains committed to the three cardinal objectives of his administration, which rests on improving security, revitalising the national economy and improving governance by tackling corruption.

“The overall objective of the government is to foster the revitalization of the Nigerian economy with collaboration of reliable allies such as Ghana. Your Excellency, under your Chairmanship of ECOWAS and with the Africa Continental Free Trade Area office headquartered in Ghana, I believe we can achieve the dream of strengthening the economic base of the sub-region and making the continent take its rightful place in the comity of nations,” he stated.

The High Commissioner conveyed the best wishes of President Muhammadu Buhari, the government and the people of Nigeria to President Akufo-Addo on his re-election.

In his remarks, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo re-iterated the brotherly relations between Ghana and Nigeria. He welcomed the new Ambassador and assured him of his maximum cooperation in ensuring his success.

Ambassador Ibas arrived in Ghana last month to resume work and had been given a warm welcome by the Nigerian community in Ghana, at the Kotoka International Airport, Accra.

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