November 20, 2019

Nigeria’s institutional weakness should not make regional trade suffer – Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama has faulted oil-rich Nigeria for its closure of Seme-Krake, Igolo and Idiroko borders to other West African countries.

He wants Africa’s most populous country to rather focus on strengthening its institutions mandated to check smuggling instead of punishing the sub-region.

Cross-border traders from Ghana, Benin and other countries have for weeks been left stranded over the closure as their businesses continue to suffer.

Speaking at the 7th Anniversary of the Realnews Magazine in Lagos, Nigeria Mr Mahama said “it is problematic that sub-regional activities and trade should suffer because of domestic institutional weaknesses.

“Nigeria must invest in strengthening its institutions and systems that are responsible for the importation of illegal or prohibited goods,” he charged.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has appealed to Ghanaian traders to remain calm as it works with the Nigerian authority to open its Seme-Krake, Igolo and Idiroko borders.

The Ministry said this is having a consequential impact on regional trade and people-to-people contact.

“In addition to the closure of the borders and its effects, Ghana has to deal with measures already enforced in Nigeria that have made it difficult for Ghanaian traders to export Non-Traditional products into the Nigerian markets in spite of the ECOWAS trade Liberation Scheme,” the ministry said in a statement.

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