The Importers and Exporters Association wants the Presidents of both Ghana and Nigeria to, as a matter of urgency, meet and discuss the closure and possible re-opening of Nigeria’s border.
Nigeria has closed its land borders to some African states, including Ghana, since August 2019 a situation which is affecting traders and their businesses in the sub-region.
Despite this, the Nigerian government has already announced the extension of the border closure to the end of January 2020.
But in a Citi News interview, president of the association, Samson Awingobit noted that it was time for the respective heads of states to resolve the matter as the standoff risk the successes of the Africa Continental Free Trade.
“We all know that in July next year, we will be implementing the Africa Continental Free Trade. I don’t see the future of this free trade agreement which we are happy about if this border closure issues persist. If it will be supported, there is the need for a head of state meeting immediately. I think it is beyond the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For where we are now, there is supposed to be a round table discussion between Ghana’s President and that of Nigeria with regards to what is happening at the moment.”
Ghana is hopeful that there will be positive results over the issue.
But a meeting held by a delegation led by Mr Carlos Ahenkorah, a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry and Mr Charles Owiredu, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration with the Nigeria officials seems to have ended inconclusively after Nigeria set some other conditions for the closure.
Nigeria closed its frontiers in what it says is to stop the smuggling of products from its neighbouring 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.