The Ghana Traders Union Association (GUTA) has criticized ECOWAS for failing to get Nigeria to open its borders with recently closed neighboring West African countries.
Nigeria is said to have closed the borders in a government move to stop other ECOWAS member states smuggling about 45 products into the country.
It is also alleged that some ECOWAS citizens who have had brushes with the law are repatriated by Nigeria, yet the populace nation is said to be preventing other nations from deporting Nigerians in similar situations.
The closure of Nigeria’s borders impedes the free movement of people, goods and services to and from the affected ECOWAS state, according to GUTA.
“Surprisingly, however, there was no statement from the ECOWAS Commission in this regard,” GUTA said in a statement Thursday.
GUTA was satisfied that ECOWAS ‘ ineffectiveness in intervening in the matter was to render the regional body’s protocols, whose stance it said, smacks of injustice and lack of equity.
It observed that whenever Ghana decides to enforce its laws, “the ECOWAS Commission takes steps to put pressure in the name of sub-regional integration while[ ECOWAS] seeks Nigeria to follow its own course whenever it suits it.”
Ghana, it said, has been struggling through the eastern corridor with the smuggling of all kinds of goods; something it said seriously affected the collection of revenue, as well as allowing under-standard and dangerous goods through this corridor.
Consequently, GUTA has requested that Ghanaian authorities “strictly enforce” the laws of the country “in the context of the ECOWAS Protocol”