GUTA in talks with foreign ministry over silence on Nigeria border closure

Source GhanaWeb

Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) is in a meeting with the Foreign Affairs Ministry to deliberate on government’s silence over the Nigerian border closure in the past two months.

Dr. Joseph Obeng, the president of the union in an earlier interview, said they are discontent with the way the issue is being handled and are calling for a favourable solution to resolve the issue at the borders.

According to him, several goods destined for the Nigerian market are now stranded at the Togo-Benin border, adding, Ghanaian traders have had their goods locked up at these borders for months.

“How can Nigeria continuously ignore the ECOWAS protocol? Surprisingly, our Foreign Affairs Ministry’s silence and failure to deal with this is highly shocking,” he lamented.

Dr Obeng, however, suggested that the ECOWAS parliament check its member countries adequately to avoid future occurrences.

“If this issue is not thoroughly addressed and checked, Ghana risks losing its own trade market which can adversely affect the role of the country in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which is expected to come into force in 2020,” Dr Obeng told GhanaWeb.

“The AfCFTA already rests on already existing protocols and if care is not taken, countries like Nigeria will bully their way into the agreement area, this is an unfair trade practice that could hinder our entire role in AfCFTA,” he added.

Nigeria’s role in ECOWAS treaty breach

Earlier, the Nigerian government in its Prohibited and Restricted Imports list banned the importation of some 45 products including rice, cement, textile products cocoa butter and other products it currently manufactures.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, earlier in August, ordered a partial closure of the Togo-Benin border to check the smuggling of cheap goods into Nigeria.

Following that, Nigeria’s borders were completely shut down this September.

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