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Extortion at border posts said to endanger sub-regional trade

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Participants at a sensitization workshop on international trade issues have expressed worry over continued extortion of money by some personnel of the security agencies manning the borders.

They said this practice is gradually crippling their businesses and appealed to the government to stem such corrupt tendencies at the border check-points to save their businesses.

The participants expressed these concerns at a workshop organized by the Multi-lateral, Regional and Bilateral Trade Division of the Ministry of Trade and Industry at Takoradi on Tuesday.

The participants were drawn from the business community, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Civil Society Organisations, Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), Immigration Service and officials of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The workshop is the second in a nationwide series to sensitize the public and solicit ideas and suggestions from the stakeholders in the trade sector towards the ongoing international trade negotiations, popularly known as the Doha Development Agenda (DDA).

The participants appealed to the government to facilitate free flow of information to the business community, especially on the oil and gas sector.

A director at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr Charles Nyaaba, assured the business community that the Ministry would activate its website by the end of the year so that businessmen and women could access information pertaining to trade.

The Deputy Western Regional Minister, Ms Betty Bosumtwi-Sam, urged participants to remain focused on the issues and make candid suggestions that could be useful in the negotiating process.

She urged the business community in the region to prepare adequately to benefit from the upcoming oil and gas industry to propel the region to a higher height.

Source: GNA

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