Owing to increasing prices of raw materials used in making bread, bakers have announced plan to raise the prices of the product which serve as a staple food in many homes.
The Premium Breadmakers Association of Nigeria and the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria gave the warning of the impending increase in prices at a press conference in Lagos on Thursday.
The President, PBAN, Tosan Jemide, said businesses had become comatose due to incessant increases in the prices of baking ingredients.
Our correspondent reports that some bakers have already increased the prices of their products with additional N50 or N100 to some of the sizes on offer.
Jemide noted that over the last six months the prices of flour, sugar and other baking ingredients had skyrocketed without a corresponding increase in prices of bread by member bakeries.
He said, “We have been busy helping them remain profitable while our businesses suffer, because we are more in tune with the purchasing power of the consumer and are deeply concerned about food security.
“PBAN and AMBCN shall no longer take seat and watch such blatant increases in prices going forward. We shall react with equal price increases or stiff resistance.”
Jemide appealed to government to intervene with the rising cost by prevailing on ingredients sellers and imploring millers to put a stop to the incessant increment of price.
He also called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) to help the industry by reining in on millers or supporting them whatever way they could to help them with access to forex.
The bakers complained that the wheat development programme put in place since 2012 had yet to produce results despite 15 per cent development levy.
They requested that government ensure the programme functions properly to justify the 15 per cent levy or scrap it if it was not viable.
The associations suggested that government revisit its forex policy by giving wheat importers priority in accessing foreign exchange because local wheat production could not meet with the growing demand of flour.
Similarly, the Master Bakers Association in the South-South have bemoaned the rise in materials used for producing bread, saying consumers in the zone should prepare to buy the commodity at a slightly higher prices.
Public Relations Officer, Master Bakers Association in the South-South, Kola Adelegon, said this while speaking on a live Radio programme (93.7 Rhythm) in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
Adelegon who is also the Rivers State Chairman of the association said 85 percent of the materials used in baking bread were imported, pointing out that in the last six months, prices of materials had reached the rooftop.
H said, “As at three, four months ago before the lockdown, the flower that is being sold now at N13, 500 was sold then at N9, 700. Sugar that is now at N19, 000 was sold at N13, 500 before the lockdown.
“The people that are in the line (business) will tell you; 85 per cent of the materials being used in producing bread are imported. As we all know now that the dollar rate to the Naira is on higher side. So, most of these materials depend on dollar exchange.”
Adelegon said bakers in the zone had been silent on this issue because bread was perishable, noting that if you increase the price and there was no market for it, the staple food becomes useless to you.
“Even some two or three weeks ago, Abia State Master Bakers went on strike and they have hiked the prices of bread.
“Similarly, Akwa Ibom has done so. But Port Harcourt has been so patient and waiting for the surrounding states to actualise their prices.
“Even yeast, the basic material that we use in baking bread has added difference of two, three thousand naira. So we had a meeting about two days ago and we have been able to meet with our dealers. Those who buy the bread and sell to consumers and told them of our intentions.
“As it stands now people are still buying the jumbo size of bread at N500 but with the review of what we are doing now, it may shift by N50 or N100 addition.”
He added that the prices of other sizes would be adjusted by N20 or N30.