The government of Liberia’s (GOL) revenue intake from cross-border trade with neighboring Guinea may dwindle in the second quarter, the Daily Observer’s business desk has observed.
The looming revenue loss, according to our reporter, is directly linked to the reported slowdown of cross-border trade between Liberia and Guinea, as a result of the outbreak of the Ebola virus in neighboring Guinea.
A resident of the border town of Ganta, Nimba County, yesterday told our business desk that the number of trucks from Guinea has dwindled. According to this woman, who lives right at the Ganta-Guinea border point, there are a limited number of trucks coming in from Guinea.
Though the Liberian government has not ordered its border closed with Guinea, this woman anonymously told our reporter that a slowdown is also on the Liberian side of the border, as exporters have slowed their activities in the town.
“Some of the traders have said that they are halting trade with Guinea with or without any government directive,” she said. The government of Liberia has not spoken on the latest news, but GOL insiders hinted to our reporter yesterday, that the situation has claimed the attention of the Ministry of Finance.
The Ebola virus has killed over 80 people in Guinea with reports of a few deaths in Liberia and Sierra Leone, international media said. Cross-border traders have said that they fear the incurable Ebola virus. “I have suspended my cross-border trade business with my Guinean partner because of the virus,” a local importer said on condition of anonymity.
The self-imposed slowdown in cross border trade between Liberia and Guinea is not only at the Ganta point; it is also in Lofa County and parts of Bong County. It is not clear to what extent revenue lose would affect GOL’s operations as the government remains tight-lipped.