The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) wants Ghanaian trucks stranded in Nigeria for weeks now following the closure of the country’s border at Seme to be allowed to move out.
GUTA says it is not bothered by the extension of the border closure so long as Ghanaian traders who are already in Nigeria are allowed to return to Ghana with their products.
The extension which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari is likely to deepen the woes of Ghanaian traders who have been pressuring the Akufo-Addo government to liaise with the Nigerian government to allow them to get their goods into Nigeria.
But, President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng in a Citi News interview said the association is not concerned with the movement of goods into Nigeria, but rather worried about Ghanaians who have their wares locked up inside Nigeria.
“They should give about one week so that traders can move out with their goods to their destinations in other West African countries. After that, they can close their borders for as long as they want.”
Nigeria extends its border closure to January 2020
Nigeria has extended the period for the closure of its frontiers to other countries till January 31, 2020.
The extension is said to be a result of the ‘overwhelming success’ the closure has chalked in the face of the country’s economy and security.
A memo dated November 1, 2019, and addressed to the Sector Coordinators of the Joint Border Operation Drill announced that;
“I am directed to inform you that it is observed that despite the overwhelming success of the operation, particularly the security and economic benefits to the nation, a few strategic objectives are yet to be achieved. Against this background, Mr. President has approved an extension of the exercise to January 31, 2020.”
Nigeria closed its borders in what it says is to stop the smuggling of products from its neighboring West African countries into Nigeria.
The action taken by Nigeria was to express its displeasure at the attitude of the Beninese authorities in order to elicit their cooperation.
The closure of the borders which started in August 2019 was expected to be in force for twenty-eight (28) days, however, the issues remain unresolved thus the initial continuous closure.
The smuggling of goods and sale of substandard products through the eastern corridor is a phenomenon Ghana is battling with thereby having severe consequences on revenue mobilization.