Immigration Officers Sexually Harassing Traders At Cross Borders

Eniola Dada

Eniola Dada

Raising voices for women in cross border trade, Ghana-Nigeria Group (RVWBT) has called on customs and immigration officers to stop harassing cross-border trade women. At a forum held at Accra, the Ghana-Nigeria raising voices for women in cross-border trade (RVWCBT) stated that, there has been numerous of complains from cross-border women traders that, customs and immigration officers have being harassing them with money and some customs and immigration officers demand for sex before they allow them to cross the borders.

“Cross border trade has been seen to have gender dimension. Women are seen to be engaged in informal cross- border trade along the borders. Most times women are facing a lot of challenges in trying to transport their goods from customs officials and other security agents” Mrs. Eniola Dada said.

“Women informal cross border traders (WICBT) are key economic actors and their activities should be viewed as a range of the formal sector, because they pay taxes, create wealth and employment, reduce poverty and contribute to regional integration. Unfortunately, women informal cross border traders still suffer from invisibility, stigmatization, violence, harassment, poor working conditions and lack of recognition of their economic contribution” she bemoaned.

Mrs. Guinevere Bulli Aoeh, secretary for Ghana-Nigeria border business council noted that, by ignoring women’s informal trading activities, African countries are neglecting a significant proportion of their trade, because cross-border trade between Nigeria and Ghana has hit USD$3 billion dollars in 2014.

She further said, there is need to address the issue of informality in mainstream trade policy making and to strengthen the notion that women informal traders are also an important client of trade and regional economic communities.

Mr. Theodor Markham, lead consultant in trade market stated that, Resource and services in support of women’s trading activities remain weak as evidenced by the limited access of women traders to credit facilities, foreign currency exchange, transport services, information on market opportunities and trade rules and protocols, child are facilities in cross border markets, and lack of infrastructure for storage of agricultural commodities in cross border markets.

Mr. Kop’ep Dabugat, Public relation officer of (RVWCBT) noted that, interest in cross-border trade has been volume overwhelming, but knowledge of its magnitude, determinants, and consequences remains Inadequate, leading not only to undervaluation figures in the national accounts, but also inhibiting formulation of appropriate policies and strategies to exploit its potential impact, particularly on food security. That’s why we are advocating getting all cross border traders less than one umbrella.

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