Ever since the Nigerian government moved to completely close its land borders with neighbouring African countries pending when “certain conditions are met by those countries with respect to the movement of goods”, the economic losses have been massive — especially for those on the “non-Nigerian side of the border.”
And now it looks like things are starting to get of hand as there are those who are now taking matters into their own hands.
Fresh reports have it that aggrieved members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) have stormed shops owned by Nigerians in two cities in the country., shutting them down.
These members locked the shops of the Nigerians on Thursday, October 31, 2019, in Kumasi, the Ashanti Region capital, and locked them up.
The demonstration appears to be in retaliation to the closure of the Nigerian border to West African countries which includes Ghana.
GUTA recently noted that the closure of Nigeria’s trade borders to Benin and other neighbouring countries is an outright breach of ECOWAS treaties.
The President of the Association, Joseph Obeng who spoke to Accra-based Joy FM noted that the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the ECOWAS parliament have 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,” he said.
The GUTA members also cite Ghanaian laws to justify their action, insisting that they have been left with no choice than to move into the markets and lock the shops up themselves because the law enforcement agencies fail to do their work.
GUTA says foreign retailers flout section 27 of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 865. That law stipulates that the sale of goods or provision of services in a market, petty trading or hawking or selling of goods in a stall at any place must be reserved for Ghanaians.
Meanwhile, the Ghanaian Presidency has responded on the matter. Ghana’s President, Nana Akuffo-Addo, has said that he is hopeful the ongoing talks between Nigeria and Ghana would resolve the impasse with the West African giant’s closure of its western borders.
According to him, “there’s a lot of room for continuing talks between” Nigeria and Ghana for a breakthrough to be reached. President Akuffo-Addo said this while addressing a delegation from First National Bank, Nigeria.
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