• In August, Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari ordered a partial closure of the border with Benin.
  • In September, all borders with neighbouring countries were closed down completely.
  • However, the Ghana Union of Traders Association is unhappy with this development.

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), has said 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.”

This is coming after Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari ordered a partial closure of the border with Benin to check to smuggle of cheap goods into Nigeria.

His made the order in August. However, all borders with neighbouring countries were closed down completely this September. 

But according to Dr Obeng “The CFTA rests solely on already existing protocols and if care is not taken, countries like Nigeria will bully their way into the agreement area, this is unfair trade and could hamper the whole CFTA.”

The Nigerian government has emphasized that the partial closure of land borders will continue until the condition of smuggling is checked for the mutual benefit of all neighbouring countries.

The President’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, said in a statement that President Buhari is very concerned about the smuggling of rice. He argued that smuggling activities are a threat to the self-sufficiency already attained due to his administration’s agricultural policies.

“Now that our people in the rural areas are going back to their farms, and the country has saved huge sums of money which would otherwise have been expended on importing rice using our scarce foreign reserves. We cannot allow smuggling of the product at such alarming proportions to continue,” he said.