The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) is accusing Nigeria of unfair trade practices, and has called the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission to intervene.
The association in a statement claimed goods destined for the Nigerian market are stranded at the Benin boarder to Nigeria, causing financial loss to exporters.
Nigeria has closed its boarders with neigbouring West African countries for almost two months now.
National organizer of GUTA, Clement Boateng said the Nigerian government’s reason for the closure was to protect its local rice farmers from rice being smuggled into its market, an excuse he calls flimsy.
“If Nigeria has the audacity to say that they will not allow any country to bring in their goods because they want to protect their market, I think it is unfair,” he said.
Earlier, the Nigerian government in its Prohibited and Restricted Imports list banned the importation of 45 products including rice, cement, textile products cocoa butter, powder and cakes as well as other products it currently manufactures.
GUTA said it was surprise at the silence of ECOWAS commission and the ministry of trade on this development.
“Nigeria things they are the giants in the West Africa and for that matter they want to dictate the pace of ECOWAS. We think this is wrong and it is about time the ECOWAS commission stood up and say something. About it,” Clement Boateng lamented.
He says the restriction affects all West African countries and not only Ghana traders, defusing concerns that Nigeria is retaliating move by Ghanaian traders to eject foreigners, especially Nigerians, doing retailing in Ghana.
GUTA claims while Ghana is suffering from similar challenges of smuggling, any action it takes to enforce her laws, ECOWAS Commission steps in to put pressure in the name of sub-regional integration.
Meanwhile, GUTA says all it can do now is to put pressure on the current authorities to do something about the closure of the boarders.
By Paul Selorm Agbo | 3news.com | Ghana