Africa: Ghana Tourism Authority to partner Nigeria, ECOWAS on seamless travel along West African Borders
The Ghana Tourism Authority has said it will be partnering with the Nigerian government and the ECOWAS community on the need to re-emphasis the seamless travel of people along the West Africa corridor.
The acting Chief Executive of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr Kwasi Agyeman, who spoke at the just concluded 13th Akwaaba African Travel Market 2017, said there was for greater collaboration among countries in the region to promote tourism and travel in West Africa.
Narrating the ordeal of the Ghanaian delegation which travelled by road to Nigeria for the Akwaaba Travel Market, the biggest travel and tourism fair in West Africa, he said the team had to endure hours of frustration at the Ghana-Togo and the Togo-Benin borders over immigration processes.
According to him, it took at least three hours and 20 minutes to be cleared at both barriers.
He said: “The worst was yet to come at Seme which borders Benin-Nigeria. It took more than three hours to complete the immigration process.
“Although the team had all documentations intact, the Nigerian immigration officials were at their slowest bet.
“It had to take a call from one of the state governors to release the team.
“From Seme through Badagry, there were at least 18 barriers and checkpoints, comprising police, Nigeria Drugs Law Enforcement Agency and immigration.
“In the end, a journey that should have taken four hours from Benin ended in almost eight hours.
He said tourism growth in the sub-region would thrive better in an atmosphere of free movement of people.
“We will work together to ensure that more of our citizens visit each other’s country to boost the tourism business,” he stated.
The acting Chief Executive of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr Kwasi Agyeman, agreed and said greater collaboration was needed to deal with the problem.
The GTA boss pointed out the Ghanaian government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the country becomes one of the tourism destination spots in the sub-region and the government has continued to invest heavily in the sector attract tourists into the country.
He said GTA was glad to be part of the yearly event this year stating that it was also a means to showcase the rich tourism potentials of the country and also to woo potential tourists to Ghana.
By Friday Nwosu