According to the ministry, the issue which is affecting the traders’ export of goods is being handled with the best of approaches.
This was captured in a statement issued after meeting members of the association.
“We acknowledge the sensitivity of the issue at stake, as Ghanaian citizens are also involved in petty trading in the other ECOWAS Member States. The closure of the Igolor and Seme-Krake (Nigeria-Benin) borders by Nigeria, which is affecting Ghana’s export along that corridor is being handled at the highest level,” the statement said.
The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), complained that the recent closure of Nigeria’s trade borders to Benin and other neighbouring countries is an outright breach of ECOWAS treaties.
The President of the Association, Dr Joseph Obeng told Accra-based Joy FM that the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the ECOWAS parliament has failed to check Nigeria. He argued that this is enough evidence that all treaties and protocols under ECOWAS being ineffective.
“Nigeria has blatantly flouted ECOWAS protocol if there is even something like that. Surprisingly, the foreign affairs ministry has failed to deal with this issue, nobody is talking to this issue and for two months Ghanaian goods have been locked up in Nigeria. This act by the Nigerian government nullifies the entire ECOWAS Treaty on the free movement of people and goods.”
What the statement said:
But, the Minister said stakeholders within the trade chain are being up to the task to tackle the illegal trading activities within the sub-region.
“Institutions responsible for trading activities i.e., Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), the Ghana Police Service (GPS) and Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) will have to continue to play their role to ward off illegal trading activities in our market places.”
The ministry, hence, entreated the representatives of GUTA to use established channels to address grievances involving citizens of ECOWAS Member States and not to do anything to derail the peace of the country and the ECOWAS Region, whilst a lasting solution is found to their problems.