Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has reiterated the need for Ghana and Nigeria to strengthen the bilateral trade between them, to advance their economies and improve the lots of their peoples.
He said it was time to move Ghana and Africa beyond aid, which calls for trade between African countries, saying; “We look forward for closer ties between the two countries”.
Vice President Bawumia made the call when a Nigerian delegation led by Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the President of the Nigerian Senate, paid a courtesy call on him at the Flagstaff House in Accra, on Monday.
The delegation is in Ghana to take part in the 61st Independence Day celebration, which is on the theme: “Ghana beyond Aid”.
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria is expected to be the Special Guest of Honour at the independence parade at the Black Stars Square on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, to climax the celebrations.
Vice President Bawumia said it was worth celebrating 25 years of uninterrupted constitutional rule under the Fourth Republic and 61 years of independence from colonial rule.
He said it was a mile stone worth celebrating and sharing of ideas to entrench democracy and advance the welfare of the people.
Vice President Bawumia said Ghana and Nigeria shared similar history and their peoples easily jelled together whenever they meet and work on a common project.
“Our path to economic development is relatively similar, and we have significant endowment of natural resources, therefore it is imperative to move our economies beyond dependency,” he stated.
The Vice President said the two nations should find ways of deepening their bilateral relationship, which would inure to their mutual benefit.
He commended Nigeria for choosing the path of building an independent economy, saying; “We need to learn from each other”.
Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the President of Nigerian Senate, on his part, congratulated Ghana for the passion in advancing democracy in the country and the successes it had chalked in the past 25 years of practising constitutional government.
He also commended the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government for instituting people-oriented policies and programmes since assuming the reins of government.
Dr Saraki said the delegation was in the country to join the people and Government of Ghana to celebrate the 61st Independence Day and strengthen the bilateral relations that existed between the two countries.
He said the friendly relations between the two countries dated back to many years, therefore there was the need to sustain it for their mutual benefit.
The Senate President of Nigeria reiterated the need for the two countries to address key challenges confronting their peoples, including youth unemployment and economic empowerment of their peoples to create wealth and prosperity for all.
He said it was an opportune time for the two countries to resolve any obstacle hindering trade between them, adding that, Ghana and Nigeria could play that crucial role in advancing trade in the Economic Community of West African States, which would have ripple effects on the African Continent.
He urged the Government of Ghana to strengthen local participation in the oil and gas sector, so that the indigenous businesses could benefit, in order to advance the local economy.