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Claims that some Nigerian traders have broken the padlocks of their shops to operate is not true, President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Dr. Joseph Obeng has said.
According to him, some of the Nigerian traders at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle were allowed into their shops to only check on their goods during the heavy downpour of rains in Accra two weeks ago.
Some of the traders who took advantage of the situation to cash in were forced to close their shops as their actions were a breach of the rules of the land.
Making this known in an interview with GhanaWeb, Dr. Obeng said “Two weeks ago, when it was raining, some of them pleaded that we should allow them to go and get their items because they suspect that there’s leakage in their rooms. We attached a human face to it and allowed them to open their shops. As usual, having allowed them, some wanted to take advantage of it but they were made to close the shops again”.
He explained that Nigerian traders are not supposed to trade in goods outside the sub-region and the fact that some of them import goods into the country to sell is unacceptable by ECOWAS and Ghana as well, just as they closed their borders to foreign goods.
The GUTA president said, “That’s the same reason Nigeria closed their borders because they said we are importing goods outside the ECOWAS jurisdiction and then send it into their country and that they will never allow anybody to breach the rules of origin and so they don’t qualify in any way if you come to the local laws we have”.
It will be recalled that the Nigerian government in August last year closed its borders to Benin and by extension, other West African countries, as part of measures to prevent the smuggling of cheap goods and weapons into the country.
The blockade had a ripple effect on trade in the West African sub-region; compelling some to use alternative routes for their exports.
On February 6, 2020, the Nigerian government announced its intension to reopen its border to African countries to enhance the free flow of trade.
However, they failed to honour their promise as the announcement did not see the light of the day till date.
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