May 11, 2021

A former Member of Parliament for Anlo Constituency, Clement Kofi Humado is prescribing a bilateral action from both countries to address Ghanaians-Nigerians traders’ brouhaha on retail trading in Ghana.

According to him instead of the multilateral approach being used to address issues, there should rather be a bilateral approach.

An example is if Ghana, want to protect its retail sector of its economy, it should not be stated only in its national law, “we have to make this declaration to ECOWAS, so that it is included under the ETLS for Ghana”, he stated.

Again, some countries have justification to protect some vulnerable sub-sectors of their economy, so when this is stated and known to all member states, then they would know how to deal with things like this, but unfortunately under the ETLS, “this declaration has not been done by member countries that is why we are having this problem”.

His remarks comes in the wake of closure of shops belonging to Nigerians in the retail business in Kumasi, the Ashanti Region, and a media release cited by, where  H. E President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Trade and Industry Minister to move to Ghana and resolve the trade brouhaha  with its counterpart in Ghana.

The former ECOWAS lawmaker in an interview noted that some areas in the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme have been left too open for individual countries to determine and there are no standard formats for harmonization for each member state in the sub-region to follow.

And added that normally things like this happen in harmonization, and when they do happen each country is allowed to state under the protocol their vulnerabilities or the section of their economy which they want to protect.

In addition, the problem is not just harmonization of the protocols, some of them are due to malpractices some of the Nigerian traders engage in, noting that when the traders come to Ghana they do not want to obey the company regulations as they need to register and pay tax and declare annual returns.

“Their Ghanaian counterparts are expected to do all of these things, so if their Nigerian counterparts do not do it, and are not spending money on these things they end up making great profit at the end of the year than their Ghanaian counterparts”.

 And there are other aspects that does not necessary have to do with the protocols, but has to do with adhering to the Ghanaian national laws and positions, “I believe when the two sides meet they should be able to solve this out on bilateral basis”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/