The Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA) says it wants to be part of ongoing stakeholder engagements between the Ghanaian and the Nigerian governments over the closure of the Nigerian border it shares with Benin.
According to the group, they believe this will be the best solution to amicable and peaceful trade relations among the two countries in terms of trade.
In an interview with Citi Business News, the National Welfare Officer of GUTA, Benjamin Yeboah said they want to be part of discussions to set the modalities to benefit their members.
“We got to know that it has become a president to president affair. So, I’m sure whatever they put out to the president. It is important that the Foreign Ministry relays to us what the issues are because we are partners in this. I believe it is important our input is taken into consideration,” he said.
Nigeria has for the past two months, closed its border to Benin and by extension, other West African countries as part of measures to prevent the smuggling of some goods into the country.
The blockade has had rippling effect across West Africa sub-region with factories and traders struggling to import key raw materials; compelling some to use alternative routes for their exports, according to the Lagos Chamber of Commerce.
Several meetings have so far been held between Ghana’s Foreign Affairs ministry and that of Nigeria.
But this is yet to see any change in the decision.
Already, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has revealed that goods worth millions of cedis belonging to Ghanaian manufacturers are stuck at Benin’s border with Nigeria.
The border restrictions come after Nigeria and Benin in July agreed to join the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which is targeted at improving trade among African countries.
The agreement primarily looks at the removal of trade barriers and tariffs on 90% of commodities.