Traders, residents welcome 24 hour opening of Togo-Ghana border

Dominic Adoboli,GNA

Aflao, Aug. 10 , GNA – The Togo-Ghana Eastern
border at Aflao now remains opened 24-hours, ending nearly two decades of
partial closure from 2200 hours to 0600 hours.

The Togolese authorities first kept their side
of the frontier opened last Thursday, followed by Ghana the next day upon a
directive from Accra.

The Ghana News Agency (GNA) observed that
travellers arriving at both ends of the border cross without hindrances, with
many commending the two countries for the feat.

A Nigerian trader said, unscrupulous border
operatives would no longer extort money to help them cross at odd hours, nor
would they be robbed by criminals who approached them under the guise of assisting
them cross the border.  

Residents from both sides of the border, who
have families and businesses across, also hailed the 24 hour opening of the
border, which has led to increased business activities at transport terminals
in Aflao and Kojoviakope in Lome side, day and night.

Ms Agnes Kafui Modey, Aflao Sector Commander,
Customs Division, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), told the GNA that the opening
of the border was as a result of bilateral understanding reached between
governments of the two countries in Lome, Togo this year.

She said the initiative was within the spirit
of facilitating the free movement of people, goods and services under the
Economic and Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) of the Economic Community of
West Africa (ECOWAS).

Ms Modey, however said all smaller points,
known as pedestrian entry points from Beat Zero to Beat Nine and Pillar 16 were
not part of the agreement and that the night before the border was opened, her
outfit faced challenges manning Beat Zero to Pillar 16, a porous and difficult
points of the 16-kilometer long frontier.

She said the new directive had called for
extra personnel and increased logistical challenges, which the Sector was
managing to control, awaiting support from government.

Ms Modey said her outfit was collaborating
with the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) for patrols and mop-up supports from
other border security agencies for effective border control.

“A BODSEC (Border Security Agencies Security
Council) meeting has since been scheduled to help identify operational
difficulties each agency, including the BNI, Food and Drugs Board, and NACOB
are facing since the developments to help review strategies,” she stated.

Ms Modey hinted of a regular collaborative
meeting between BODSEC and its Togolese counterparts over each country’s
challenges regarding complaints of their nationals, travellers and clearance of
goods to make business free as per the concept.

The closure of the border was started by the
Togolese authorities following a failed coup attempt allegedly by Togolese in
Ghana in the early 1990s.


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