Monday, 7 October 2019

Ghanaian traders suffer over Nigeria decision to close borders


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Adnan Adams Mohammed

Ghanaian traders are lamenting bitterly against Nigeria’s decision to close its borders for member countries of Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) as it attempt to stop smuggling of some classified goods into the largest populate country in West Africa sub region.

Leadership of the Ghana Traders Union Association (GUTA) has thereby condemned ECOWAS leadership for not showing any concern towards getting Nigeria to open its borders with its neighbor, West African countries.

Nigeria is said to have closed the borders in a move by the government to stop about 45 products from being smuggled into the country from other ECOWAS member states. Also, some ECOWAS citizens who have had breaches with the law are allegedly being repatriated by Nigeria, yet the populace nation is said to be preventing other nations from deporting Nigerians in similar situation.

“Surprisingly, however, the ECOWAS Commission has not issued any statement in that regard,” GUTA said in a statement issued, last week. According to Traders Union, the closure of Nigeria’s frontiers is impeding free movement of people, goods and services to and from the affected ECOWAS state.

GUTA contented that the ineffectiveness of ECOWAS in intervening in the issue was rendering the protocols of the regional body, whose posturing it said, smacks of unfairness and lack of equity.

It observed that whenever Ghana decides to enforce its laws, “ECOWAS Commission steps in to put pressure in the name of sub regional integration whiles they [ECOWAS] look on for Nigeria to have her own way anytime it suites her”.

Ghana, it said, has been battling with smuggling of all kinds of goods through the eastern corridor; something it said, was seriously affecting revenue collection, as well as allowing substandard and dangerous goods through this corridor.

GUTA has consequently asked Ghanaian authorities to “strictly enforce” the country’s laws “within the context of the ECOWAS protocol”

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