By Mike Adeyemi
The Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN), has said a 50 percent increase in the prices of bread is inevitable.
Abdulfatai Alaba, Chairman, Kwara State chapter of AMBCN, made this known in an interview with our reporter on Saturday.
According to him, “the prices of baking ingredients have increased due to the economic situation in the country”, adding that as a result manufacturers are producing at a loss.
“Prices of all ingredients used for baking have continued to go up, especially flour and sugar since beginning of the year till now. There has been a monthly addition of N500 on a bag of flour and bakers have been bearing the additional cost.
“But as it is, baking bread and selling at the current price is no longer profitable. We have been appealing to the millers but they are complaining about scarcity and the high foreign exchange rate. The only option we have now is to increase the price of the commodity,” Alaba pointed out.
Continuing, “A bag of flour which sold at N12,500 before the outbreak of coronavirus, now sells at N16,000. Yeast which was N13,000 before is now N16,500.
“Also, a bag of sugar now sells between N19,000 and N20,000 depending on bargaining power as against the pre-COVID-19 price of N14,000,” the chairman further said.
Alaba added that government support is needed to reduce production costs, which according him is killing the bakery business in Kwara State.
“The instability of foreign exchange, high cost of diesel and other baking materials are reasons given by flour millers for the hike in the prices of baking materials.
“And that is why we are pleading with Federal Government to intervene in this matter by engaging the flour millers and baking material sellers.
“The association is one of the largest employers of labour in Kwara and if any bakery should fold up many people will lose their jobs.”
The alert on the possible increase of the cost of bread in Kwara is coming at a time when there is outrage over hike in price of food items and table water in the state.
By Mike Adeyemi