Ghanaian goods and services have recorded high patronage at the ongoing International Trade Fair at the Tafewa Balewa Square. This is despite the closure of the Nigerian land borders and the disagreement between the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and foreign traders.
The Details: This information was disclosed in an interview granted by Catherine Gordor, the Senior Export Development Officer, Research and International Cooperation of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) to Nairametrics at the Fair.
Gordor gave details of the volume of trade transactions that occurred between Friday, 1st and Tuesday 5th November. She noted that the weekend was the busiest day of the fair as Ghana recorded several commercial activities.
“Today and the weekend, Saturday, Sunday are the busiest days we had so far. The weekend was very busy. Today, we least expected this but we have seen a lot of activities going on.”
High patronage of Ghanaian goods
She added that the highest patronage recorded for Ghanaian goods at the fair was from Nigerians.
“Everybody is here, however, the percentage of nationals that have patronised Ghanaian products are 60% Nigerians and 10% Cameroonian.” She also added that garments had gotten a lot of patronages.
Reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to keep the borders closed, Gordor said Ghanaians could do nothing about Nigeria’s decisions as it was the path the country chose.
On the issue of the closure of foreign shops at Opera Square in Accra, Gordor said it happened as result of a little misunderstanding between traders. “It was a little misunderstanding between traders that has been resolved.”
Gordor, however, stressed that Ghana would continue to trade with Nigeria despite the disagreements regarding the closure of the border.
“Why shouldn’t you trade with us? In West Africa, Ghana and Nigeria are seen as twins. Wherever you see Ghana, you see Nigeria. Wherever you see Nigerians, you see Ghanaians.”
Recall the Federal Government of Nigeria ordered the complete closure of the Nigerian border, placing a ban on both legitimate and illegitimate movement of goods in and out of the country.
This came after the President announced the partial closure of the Nigeria-Benin border on August 20th with the exercise code-named, ‘Ex-Swift Response’. The measure was taken to restrict the massive illegal importation of rice into Nigeria and ensure trans-border security issues.
Subsequently, Ghana moved to beg Nigeria to open its borders but Nigeria refused to yield to their request. This forced aggrieved members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) to threaten to boycott Nigerian made goods.
Just recently, shops owned by Nigerians in five markets located in Kumasi, Ghana, were shut by the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA).