Madam Dzifa Gakpleadazi, Legal Officer at LRC, addressing the media in Accra on Wednesday said, all the security agencies comprising, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Ghana Immigration Service and Ghana Police Service were all guilty.
She pointed out that one of the major goals of ECOWAS was to promote economic growth by facilitating free movement of people and goods but the security personnel had allegedly created artificial delays and other bottlenecks, which hindered trading between Ghana and Burkina Faso.
Madam Gakpleadazi said traders were expected to transact business between these two countries without any hindrance but the survey revealed that traders had to pay at least GH¢60 before arriving at their final destination, a situation which accounted for increases in the cost of imported goods from neighbouring countries.
She blamed the corrupt practices on the gaps and weaknesses in implementing the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS), which was supposed to ensure that all bottlenecks to trade were removed from the roads to facilitate free movement of goods and people.
Madam Gakpleadazi said the survey, jointly conducted with the West Africa Trade Hub (WATH), also found out that there were insufficient public sector capacity building to assist the private sector in facilitating free trade movement.
She said there was the need to create the necessary awareness for the removal and enforcement of non-tariff barriers, including issuing quality certification, levies and quota restrictions on ECOWAS originated goods.
Madam Gakpleadazi appealed to all Ministries and bodies concerned to come together to set standards that would conform to those in Burkina Faso and all check points to eliminate the bottlenecks on the road to facilitate businesses.
She stressed the need for a uniform implementation of axle-load limits in all ECOWAS countries, while issuing agents of the ECOWAS brown card, which served as temporary insurance cover, should be subjected to strict scrutiny to eliminate corruption.