Nigeria failed to open its border to traders

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The Nigerian government has failed to open its border with Benin as promised last week Friday after months of closure.

The Nigerian government in a memo signed by the Comptroller of its Immigration Service, Victor David Dimka last week said a decision will be announced on Friday 31st January on the way forward.

But no announcement was made to that effect.

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) in an earlier reaction to the intended announcement said they are looking forward to the opening of the Nigerian border for trade activities to return to normalcy.

The Nigerian government in August last year closed its borders to Benin and by extension, other West African countries, as part of measures to prevent the smuggling of cheap goods and weapons into the country.

The blockade has had a ripple effect on trade in the West African sub-region; compelling some to use alternative routes for their exports.

GUTA General Secretary, Alpha Shaban said a reopening will come as a huge relief for traders in the sub-region.

“If they open the border it will be good for us all. Every member country is a sovereign country and every country has its law. Therefore it is the responsibility of that country to protect their industry as well as the traders. Even though it has affected us seriously it is because some of our people are working with loans and that is why we are complaining,” he explained.

Adding that “But if they open the border, it will be good for us all because it is negatively affecting the ECOWAS agreement of free movement of people and services”.

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