The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) says its members will commence brisk business with Nigeria with the reopening of the country’s land borders.
Speaking to Citi Business News, President of the Association, Dr Joseph Obeng, says the opening of the borders is timely for the business of its members.
He stated that “It is very good for us to start again the cross-border trading activity that was going on so definitely it is going to enhance upon the trading along the corridor which is welcome news for us. Now, trading is going to start in brisk as people have gotten the information that the borders are opened. People will go there to access the goods that they can procure from there.”
Dr Obeng, however, added that it would take a while for most of its members to fully resume trading with their Nigeria counterparts.
“People have relocated to other destinations like Dubai and elsewhere to procure their goods. So, it’s not going to start very quickly like that, but we believe that by February to March this year, business will start in earnest.”
Nigeria closed its border to stop what it called the smuggling of products from its neighbouring West African countries into the country.
The action taken by Nigeria was to express its displeasure at the attitude of the Beninese authorities in order to elicit their cooperation.
The then Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador Olufemi Abikoye, in a meeting with Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey after the decision said the closure is to allow for consultative meetings with its neighbouring countries to find lasting solutions to the smuggling of cheap goods into the country.
The closure had a knock-on effect on Ghanaian traders who also use the route.
The government later indicated that it will provide interim support for traders who lost their goods and other items at Nigeria’s border following its closure.
The Communications Head at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Prince Boakye Boateng told Citi Business News the Government has taken inventory of all the trucks, drivers and their owners to provide them with interim support while they negotiate with the Nigerian government on addressing the problem.
Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari in December, last year, ordered the immediate reopening of four of Nigeria’s land borders, over a year after they were all shut.