– The Sun News

My scorecard, by Abikoye, Nigeria’s High Commissioner, Ghana

Nigerian students seeking to study in Ghana can now do that with ease as the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana has stepped in the gap for them, interacting with the school authorities on the need to have the fees reduced in order to accommodate more students.

This gesture was spare headed by the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador Olufemi Michael Abikoye, who arrived Accra barely a year ago as the head of Nigeria diplomatic mission to that country.

Since the arrival of the envoy, the Nigerian diplomatic mission in that country has come alive as programmes and initiatives geared towards improving the relations between both countries have been put in place.

High Commission’s staff who testified to this, said Abikoye had revived the country’s mission in Ghana, which was hitherto in comatose and efforts to revive it had proved abortive, had come with zeal to infuse life in the relationship between that country and Nigeria.

They revealed that first few days after presenting his letter of credence to the Ghanaian government, the High Commissioner paid courtesy call on allies of Nigeria in the diplomatic community and also paid courtesy calls to key government officials that would be instrumental to him accomplishing his goal.

They included the Inspector General of Police, Ghana, David Asante Apeatu, the DG, Ghana Immigration, Minister of Interior, Mr. Ambrose Dery, DG of Ghana Prisons, the Director State, Protocol and Chief of Protocol.

Indeed, Abikoye immediately hit the ground running by cementing relationship with key stakeholders that would be instrumental to making his assignment in Ghana a smooth one.

In his about five months in office the Envoy had visited five out of the 10 regions in Ghana. Hehad town hall meetings with Nigerians in Ashanti Region, BrongAhafo, Central, Western and Greater Accra Regions. These town hall meetings afforded the High Commissioner the opportunity of meeting Nigerians at the grassroots level, garner information about various challenges confronting them and it served as a platform of informing the communities of the development back in Nigeria.

Aside the Nigerian communities in these regions, he also interfaced with officials,  as well as the Nigerian students in various tertiary institutions in the regions, including Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST), Garden City University, Kumasi, Catholic University College of Ghana, Sunyani,BrongAhafo Region Cape Coast University (Central Regions) and University of Ghana, Legon (Greater Accra Region).

During the visits, officials of the schools and the High Commissioner negotiated the downward review of fees, as this was a major challenge raised by the students; and management of the various institutions. The school officials have assured of looking into this and giving positive feedback.

Another major issue the Ambassador tackled few months after arrival, was the Ghana-Nigeria Permanent Joint Commission held between October 18 and 20, 2017.

Observers say that the tackling of the Ghana-Nigeria Permanent Joint Commission was indeed a major landmark achievement of Ambassador Abikoye, especially as the issue had been pending for a longtime. The deliberations from the commission would help cement and foster both bilateral and multilateral relationship existing between Ghana and Nigeria. The other leg would be held soon in Nigeria.

It is worthy to note that the two countries are expected to sign nine MoUs and seven agreements, including, Economic, Finance, Trade and Investments, Diplomatic Consultations, Immigration Service, Food & Drugs control as well as Treaty on Prison Transfer, Youths and Sports, Education, Culture, Transportation and Air Service developments.

Another major achievement of the Envoy is the revival of the mission’s  website known as www.nigerianhcaccra.org.  The website is aimed at bringing Nigerians in Ghana closer to the Mission.

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