General News of 2014-07-13

Address trade challenges at borders – Mahama

The 45th Ordinary Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government just ended in Ghana with its chairman President John Dramani Mahama appealing to other heads of states to make commercial activities less thought-provoking at their various borders.
According to him, the difficulties traders go through at these various borders are extremely worrisome and therefore ought to be removed.
“I wish to call on all member-states of ECOWAS, particularly border officials, to take all the legal and necessary steps to remove all challenges or bottlenecks to trade and commercial activities within our region.
“…Some of our business men and women complain that in addition to paying all the relevant duties and levies, they are still confronted with situations and hindrances that often make it prohibitive for them to do business within our sub-region,” he said.
ECOWAS Chairman and President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama who opened the Summit further explained on his Facebook wall that; “Some of these obstacles are the multiplicity of legal and illegal checkpoints and barriers, lengthy inspection times and documentation requirements, plus costly delays - regardless of whether documentation is complete or not”.
He, however, noted that, “Many business people of West Africa have been frustrated by the request for substantial informal payments at borders, in addition to the regulatory registration requirements and high costs of transit fees demanded by our Member States”.
To him, the hassle the traders go through at the borders undermine the competiveness of products while the high cost of production constitutes a disincentive for doing business in the countries.
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