The Ghana Association of Traders Union (GUTA) has charged government to as a ‘measure of prudence’, close the country’s eastern corridors to imports to curb the smuggling of goods to protect its domestic retail market and citizens.
According to the Association’s President, the suggestion is not a retaliatory one to Nigeria closing its southern borders but should be a wake-up call for Ghana to take similar steps to protect its citizens, traders and economy.
“As a matter of prudence, it is time for government to also close its Eastern Corridors to prevent the negative effect of Nigeria’s southern border closure. Ghana has had to deal with measures already enforced by Nigeria that have made it difficult for Ghanaian traders in spite of the ECOWAS protocol, we just cannot just sit and do nothing about it,” Dr Joseph Obeng explained in a phone interview with GhanaWeb.
Dr Obeng added, the action taken by the Nigerian government to close its borders, was the right one within its economic and security jurisdiction but expects government to enforce sections of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act that debars foreigners from participating in the domestic retail market.
He said Ghana must not depend on ECOWAS to resolve the border crisis that has left many Ghanaian traders and their goods stranded in Nigeria for three months now.
Previously, 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, in August 2019, ordered a partial closure of the Nigeria-Benin border to check the smuggling of fake goods into Nigeria.
On November 1, the Nigerian government announced its decision to shut its borders to all trade until January 31, 2020.
The extension which was approved by President Buhari is said to be a result of the ‘overwhelming success the closure has so far chalked’ in the face of the country’s economy and security.