The Ghana Union of Traders Association, GUTA, is calling on government to engage in talks with Benin over the latter’s decision to withdraw from the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme.
According to GUTA, the situation stands a chance of hampering the business of its members trading with the country.
In an interview with Citi Business News, President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association believes the current situation is not best for its members.
“Interplast and some other companies have started complaining about the fact that they now have to pay duty where they were not paying, so it has really affected them several millions of cedis and that it is becoming difficult for them to trade in their goods. Also, that place also being a serious corridor between Ghana and Nigeria the biggest player of the West African country then there is a cause to be worried because of the transit issues and all that might also be a problem. l think the earlier the government of Ghana meet with their counterpart in Benin to iron out things the better. l know they will have confidence in Ghana, and they have respect for Ghana, and they will listen to our plea.”
MP for Okaikwei Central, Patrick Boamah had earlier called on the Ministry of Trade and Industry and other key stakeholders to quickly resolve challenges with the export of goods from Ghana into Benin.
Dr Joseph Obeng further added that the move by the Benin governmet may have been necessitated by a similar move taken earlier by Nigeria.
“This l can say that is a reciprocal approach that they are adopting, ECOWAS have not been effective. ECOWAS has been bias towards some of the smaller countries and gained favour of Nigeria which is a big player because if you look at what Nigeria did by closing their borders to Benin and all that it affected their economy.”
Nigeria had earlier closed its borders over concerns of the dumping is substandard goods on the country’s market. It however announced a reopening effective in January this year.
Benin’s actions comes barley two months into the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement which seeks to remove various trade barriers amongst member countries.