Sacks of onions sent to various onion markets in the Ashanti Region have gone bad due to the border closure in Benin, which delayed the movement of the goods for several days.
Over 500 sacks of onions that were offloaded from trucks have turned bad, and onion sellers are counting their losses.
The rotten onions are either being disposed of or sold to retailers at reduced prices.
At the Anloga Onion markets, a sack of onion which was sold at GH¢1,300 is now being sold as low as GH¢100.
One of the truck drivers, Seidu Sule, said in an interview with Citi News that the trucks carrying goods, including foodstuffs, were stuck at the Benin border for days due to the political tension in Niger, which resulted in the closure.
“We spent ten days at the Benin border, so the onions have turned bad. Onions start to go bad within four days. The Ghana Ambassador came to intervene, which is why we were allowed to pass through the border, but it was too late. We have lost a lot of money. About 220 bags of onions have all gone bad.”
The onion sellers say the losses incurred are running into millions of Ghanaian cedis.
“Sadness has befallen us. When you are approaching the market, you will smell the scent of the onions that have gone bad. This is due to our inability to reach here on time as a result of the closure of the border. We can’t calculate the amount lost as it stands now. An onion bag that used to be sold at GHS1,300 is now five bags being sold at GH¢150. We don’t know what we are going to do. We are calling on the government to come to our aid because it’s affecting us. We pay taxes.”
Another onion seller lamented, “I’m now selling a bag of onion for GH¢100, GH¢200, GH¢500. We have sent some to the refuse dump. I will not even get my principal, not to talk about my profits. We even sent money for additional trucks when we heard that the border was opened. And here we are with so much loss.”
Soldiers in the West African country of Niger announced a coup on national television on July 27.
They said they had dissolved the constitution, suspended all institutions, and closed the nation’s borders.
Niger President Mohamed Bazoum was held by troops from the presidential guard.
On August 7, the coup leaders closed the country’s airspace until further notice, citing the threat of military intervention from their neighbors.
The West African group of countries, ECOWAS, had earlier warned that it could use force if President Mohamed Bazoum was not reinstated by 23:00 GMT on Sunday.
A junta spokesman says Niger’s armed forces are ready to defend the country.