The Nigerian border closure which has attracted a lot of debate both for and against lately was the subject of fresh discussion yesterday when the Nigerian government made a new announcement.
President Muhammad Buhari announced that Nigeria’s land borders will remain shut until the end of January 2020 at the very least; a move geared towards curbing smuggling and preventing the movement of goods via the country’s land borders.
While there is no end in sight for the debates around the matter, one of the neighbouring countries whose traders have been terribly affected by the measure appears to have been busier than others.
Last week, members of Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) were reported to have stormed markets and shut down shops belonging to Nigerians in Ghana.
Today, the President of GUTA, Joseph Obeng, who has been particularly vocal against the move by Nigeria, is calling on the Nigerian government to let Ghanaian traders stuck inside Nigeria to move out with the products back to Ghana.
His call is coming after Nigeria’s extension of its border closure to the end of January 2020.
The extension was announced in a memo dated November 1 and addressed to the Sector Coordinators of the Joint Border Operation Drill. The extension which was approved by Nigeria’s President is due to the “overwhelming success” the country’s economy and security has achieved.
In an interview with Accra-based Citi FM, Obeng said GUTA is mainly concerned about the fate of Ghanaians who have their goods locked up inside Nigeria.
“They should give about one week so that traders can move out with their goods to their destinations in other West African countries. After that, they can close their borders for as long as they want.”
Ghanaian businesses are known to have suffered since the border closure took effect, as have businesses moving goods from Benin and Cameroon to Nigeria — which have all been prevented from accessing Nigeria’s robust market for the past 3 months.
The extension of border closure may deepen the woes of traders in Ghana and other neighbouring countries, as well as their customers. Ghanaian traders have been pressuring their government to get the Nigerian government to allow them to get their goods into Africa’s most populous country.
Featured Image Courtesy: graphic.com.gh