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Bakers insist on 15% increase in bread price tomorrow

By Vincent A. Yusuf & Seun Adeuyi (Abuja), Dickson S. Adama (Jos) & Mumini Abdulkareem (Ilorin)   The Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of…

By Vincent A. Yusuf & Seun Adeuyi (Abuja), Dickson S. Adama (Jos) & Mumini Abdulkareem (Ilorin)

 

The Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCON) has insisted that bread prices will be increased by 15 per cent nationwide, beginning on Monday.

Some of the bakers who spoke to Daily Trust on Sunday insisted on executing the decision.

Last week, the group released a statement signed by its national president, Alhaji Mansur Umar, and the national secretary, Mr Jude Okafor, indicating that prices of bread would go up by 15 per cent.

However, Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that some branches of the association are even considering a further increase as the situation may not be the same in all places.

Ishaq Abdulraheem, the chairman, Abuja Master Bakers, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), said bakeries could no longer cope with the high cost of production; hence the price hike.

The increase is sequel to a resolution reached by the National Executive Council of the association during a meeting held virtually on Tuesday.

In a chat with our correspondent, Abdulraheem said bakers in Abuja had decided to take part in the price increase.

“We will definitely join in the increase of price as our national body has disclosed. A liter of petrol was N195 before, now it is over N500. Where we were using N5,500 to supply bread per day is now about N13,000.

“They have increased the price of sugar and flour. If we don’t increase the prices, how are we going to cope? We are handicapped, we can’t advise the government. They know what to do.”

Shade Olayinka, an Abuja-based petty trader, told Daily Trust on Sunday that, “Very soon, people like us may not be able to afford a loaf of bread. The prices are very high and becoming unbearable for the average Nigerian household and they are planning to increase it.

“Some of us who have children may start avoiding bread because it is now for the rich.”

Ikechukwu Chima, a father of two, appealed to master bakers not to carry out their threat to further increase prices.

He said, “I strongly appeal to them to appreciate our plight. We appreciate theirs. We understand what they go through during these hyperinflation times. But for many of us, our buying power is very low, having not had any appreciable increase in our incomes.

“We need to eat bread. Presently, a family-sized loaf, which goes for N800/N1,000, cannot go round my family of four. And my children love eating bread. This is why I appeal to them not to increase the price of bread again.”

In Plateau, the chairman of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria, Adebayo Taiwo, said the increase was necessary considering the increase of their raw materials and other production cost, otherwise they can’t meet up with production.

Taiwo said they were always under spotlight whenever they made any increase, but no one spotlights sellers of raw materials like sugar, flour etc whenever they increase their prices.

Consumers who reacted to the announcement said the situation would add more hardship and hunger to what is already being experienced by the people.

A consumer in the Jenta Adamu area of Jos, the Plateau State capital, Onoja Nzeta, told our correspondent that the price hike would definitely reduce bread patronage by consumers, who are still grappling with increase in other commodities and services.

He said many people who can’t afford it would definitely result to any cheaper alternative, adding that after the increase the bakers themselves should conduct a survey and they will found out that bread patronage has reduced.

Nzeta, who works in the Zarmaganda area of Jos, however, advised the masses to remain resilient in the face of this economic hardship and increase their activities, with the hope that things will get better.

The bakers urged bread consumers to be careful with anyone selling at the normal price after July 24, as such, bread could be made up of unhealthy materials like sarcarine and promade, among others.

He said sellers of such bread won’t mind to sell at cheap prices as their materials are cheap to get but unhealthy and harmful.

A popular bread vendor in Ilọrin, Mr Thompson Michael, told our reporter that an additional increase would seriously affect sales, which drastically dropped before.

“Sales have not been encouraging after the last increase; it has not been the same, anyone one now might be a double kill,” he said.

A consumer, Mrs Lateefat Abdullahi, said further increase would drastically reduce the level of consumption for the family.

“Bread used to be a daily delicacy in our home, but that is now in the past. We seldom buy it now after we have exhausted all other alternatives.

“A loaf of N600 bread now can be consumed at a sitting by the children. Any further increment on the price will only quicken its removal from our consumption options completely,” she added.