Economy | National

AGI urges Ghana to emulate Nigeria over land border closure

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) wants government to take a cue from the land border closure by Nigeria to restrict the free movement of people and goods.

The Ashanti, Ahafo, Bono East Zonal Vice-Chairman of AGI, Kwasi Nyamekye, although Nigeria’s decision to close its land borders until January 2020 was unpleasant, the country was doing what all other countries do to protect their local industry.

“Countries are deliberately promoting their local industry. The recent closing of the Nigerian border is a typical example. 

“Ghana shouldn’t be worried about Nigeria closing its border. We should rather be happy because they want to promote their local industry and we have to take a cue from that. We should close our borders to the import of some goods that we produce in Ghana so we can promote local industry,” he told Luv FM’s Prince Appiah.

The government of Nigeria last week extended the closure of its land borders till January 31, 2020.

A memo signed by Nigeria’s Comptroller, Victor David Dimka, dated November 1, 2019, directed officers at the borders to keep them closed until next year.

The memo indicates that “despite the overwhelming success of the Operation particularly, the security and economic benefits to the nation, a few strategic objectives are yet to be achieved. Against this background, Mr President has approved an extension of the Exercise to 31st January 2020.”

The Nigerian government began closing its borders in August in an operation they term ‘Exercise Swift Response’.

The operation, according to the government, was to check the smuggling of illegal goods in the country.

The border closure, however, has affected many trade deals of its neighbours, including Ghana.

This closure has reportedly cost Ghana’s largest local beverage manufacturer, Kasapreko, $2 million.

AGI said instead of worrying its head, Ghana should also take the opportunity to institute similar policies in the interests of Ghanaian businesses.

“We want the Ministry of Trade and Industry to use this opportunity to formulate policies to promote products that are produced in Ghana,” said Mr Nyamekye.