Head of International Business Development of Ghana’s largest local beverage manufacturer, Kasapreko, says the company has so far lost about US$2 million in revenue due to the closure of the Nigerian-Benin Border.
According to Kasapreko’s Francis Holly Adzah, even though the beverage firm “managed to send in three trucks of products to the Nigerian market moments before the border was closed,” four other trucks loaded with products – one at the border and the others at the premises of the manufacturing company – have been left grounded.
“In September, we lost US$1 million to the closure. October is almost ended and our checks show a loss of another million dollars. The situation is getting out of hand and very serious,” Mr Holly Adzah told journalists in interview.
Checks have revealed the beverage firm has exhausted all of its products in the Nigerian market – a critical situation which has seen them being overtaken by competitors.
Meanwhile, Kasapreko says it is venturing into other ready markets apart from Nigeria to make up for the losses.
According to Mr Holly Adzah, the company is looking at entering Ivory Coast, Senegal, Togo, Benin and other European markets.
However, Ghana’s Foreign Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey says government will exhaust all diplomatic avenues to get Nigeria to re-open its western borders for the free flow of goods from Ghana to the sub-region.
Nigeria partially closed its borders with Benin in August this year to curb the spate of rice smuggling which Africa’s most populous country said is threatening its attempt to boost local production.
The move, according to Nigeria’s High Commission to Ghana, Olufemi Michael Abikoye also aims at stopping the movement of illicit weapons and other smuggled goods through the various entry points.
The closure however, has affected the movement of goods and services from the West African sub-region into Nigeria through that section of the country’s border, a situation the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) said is causing its members to incur huge losses.