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Bread scarcity hits Abuja as bakers strike over price hikes

Roadside kiosks and families are most hit but bakers will resume with price hikes

Residents of Abuja woke up on Saturday to a scarcity of bread in the wake of a strike by bakers over hike baking ingredients.

The strike started Friday and is expected to last till Monday.

Production is expected to resume Monday but with an increase in bread price.

A leader of the bakers group in the FCT and a ranking official with Zuma Bread, Abdullahi Muhammed, told Daily Trust the strike became necessary to help bakers strategise for the business to survive.

Increases in price of wheat flour, sugar and cooking oil within a year are believed to have made the business unprofitable.

“For instance, a bag of wheat flour sold between N10,000 and N12,000 last year now sells for N14,000,” he said

“Bag of sugar sold for about N11,000 last year now sells at N18,000. A 25-litre cooking oil previously N8,000 is now N15,000.

“Our members would resume production on Monday but with additional increment in bread price, the official of the baker’s union have maintained.

A dealer in wheat flour and baking ingredients in Kubwa, Shehu Lawan, linked the rise of cost of ingredients to continued loss of naira value on the exchange market.

He said previously their supplier, were being assisted by the Central Bank with soft dollar exchange rate, but now have to rely on the black market to source foreign currency to back their overseas supply.

He said other issues that affects cost in bakery commodities, include government tax increment, cost of transport, among others.

The strike has affected roadside kiosk operations and families who rely on bread for a breakfast staple.

Many ran out of bread on Saturday.

The bakers strike is also in effect in neighbouring town of Suleja in Niger and Masaka in Nasarawa.

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