October 9, 2019

GEPA to seek presidential intervention on closure of Nigeria-Benin trade borders

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority ((GEPA) will in the coming days be raising concerns over recent trade policy by Nigeria with President Akufo-Addo.

Nigeria has closed down its trade borders to Benin and other neighbouring countries. The move, according to Nigerian authorities is to check smuggling.

Speaking at the 4th Breakfast meeting organized by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Deputy CEO of GEPA, Albert Kassim Diwura explains that the gravity of this development deserves some intervention from President Akufo-Addo.

“We are closely taking in the concerns of Ghanaian exporters. As an export facilitator, it is our duty to ensure that exporters have an enabling environment to do business, especially under the ECOWAS Treaties. We will require presidential intervention on this matter looking at how serious the matter is,” he told JoyBusiness.

So far, countries hit the hardest by Nigeria’s new trade policy include Benin and Ghanaian exporters whose goods are currently locked up at the Ghana-Benin frontier.

With the financing of exports being one of the major challenges faced young businesses, trade decisions like that of Nigeria is feared to not only stall export margins but also pose as a disincentive especially as Ghana prepares for the Continental Free Trade Area.

Mr Kassim Diwura highlighted some arrangements from the side of government to remedy the situation saying “financing of local exports is very crucial and that is why we have the EXIM Bank available among other institutions. We will look at the best sectors of export to see which ones need considerable attention when it comes to credit financing”.

So far, the Nigerian government insists there is no end in sight to the partial closure of land borders until the condition of smuggling is checked for the mutual benefit of all neighbouring countries.

The 4th CEO Breakfast Meeting forms part of the four quarterly meetings in 2019. The theme for this meeting was, ‘Promoting Trade and Export Financing to support Ghana’s Industrialization Drive.’

The platform is to create an enabling environment for GIPC to partner stakeholders in the industrial sector to solicit viable solutions on how to boost export promotion.

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