The Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCON), on Tuesday, raised concerns over the rising cost of baking materials in Nigeria, saying it had become a worrisome issue to the industry.
Some members of the Association expressed these concerns when they spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja in separate interviews.
Ms Peace Izeduwa, Manager, Nextar Bakery, located in kubwa FCT, expressed worries over the impact of increasing prices of flour, sugar, yeast, and other baking materials.
Izeduwa expressed worry that many bakeries might be forced to close down, due to increasing cost of production, and therefore, solicited for government’s intervention to address the issue and safeguard the industry.
She said the recent 15 per cent increase in bread prices due to cost of production had already affected businesses in the FCT.
This, she said was sequel to the removal of fuel subsidy and the unification of the foreign exchange window, which affected transportation, goods, and services.
“Before now, the price of Mix and Bake Flour was N29,500, but has increased to N33,750, while same applies to other raw materials.
“It is not easy for bakery owners to increase prices of products the way the manufacturers increase the price of raw materials,” Izeduwa added.
According to her, bakers are not happy with the unprecedented increase in prices with the recent less than a months ago, where the price was increased by 15 per cent because of the rise in raw materials.
NAN reports that AMBCON had on July 24, announced a 15 per cent increase on bread prices from the resolution reached by the National Executive Council (NEC) of the association.
Mr Mansur Umar and Jude Okafor, the National President and National Secretary of AMBCON respectively, said the resolution reached was due to the country’s current economic realities, which had negatively impacted bakers’ production costs.
The Chairman of FCT Master Bakers, Ishaq Abdulrahman, appealed to bakers in the country not to give up, but be dogged and keep the business going.
“A lot of our members are already loosing hope and confidence, we want government to please look into the sector as its one of the biggest employer of labour,” he said.
Mr Uche Ubani, a baker, said as at Aug 13, the landing price of Prime Flour from company was N38,500, while distributors would still add their own price. “A bag of Prime Flour price in FCT might be between N39,000 and N40, 000, government should at this point come to our rescue to enable us stay in the business.