By Mike Adeyemi
Prices of bread in Kwara State may rise by 200 per cent before the end of the year, National Pilot reliably gathered.
Price has doubled from August through to October this year, forcing bread to be out of reach of many families and lovers of bread in the state.
Check conducted by our medium on Tuesday in Ilorin metropolis showed that the price might even jump further in November and December.
So far, the state chapter of Association of Master Bakers has blamed the incessant increases in the prices of baking materials, among others which had made it difficult for the bakers to make a profit or break even.
This medium had earlier reported that the persistent increase in the cost of baking materials had forced many Kwara bakers out of business and left others seeking government intervention to survive.
In September, the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN), Kwara chapter embarked on four days strike action and directed its members across the state to increase prices of bread and other items by 30 per cent due to the prevailing economic situation of the country.
Some of the producers who spoke to our reporter said they jerked up the price due to the high cost of production and prices of such materials as sugar, butter, yeast, and flour.
This, they said, reduced the quantity and quality of bread produced in the state.
Immediate past chairman of Kwara master bakers, Alhaji Babatunde Jidado said he was tired of the bread business due to the uncontrollable costs associated with it.
“It is surprising and unbelievable how the cost of baking materials keep increasing on daily basis. We no longer produce the quantity we used to produce, and people are complaining about the prices at which we sell it,” Jidado said.
According to him, flour was sold at N10,000 in August and rose to N22,000; a bag of sugar sold for N14,500 now costs N21,000; butter previously sold at N11,000 is now N21,000; and nylon, which sold for N8, is now N13.50k.
“With all these running costs, how can one make a gain, the major aim of venturing into any business?” he stated.
He added that since the reason that led to price hike hasn’t disappear, the union is contemplating on the next line of action.
“Price of materials are still skyrocketing day by day and the federal government has refused to listen to our demand. If things continue like this, Kwarans should be expecting a 200 per cent increase in bread prices by December. That is the only alternate way-out”, he affirmed.
A retailer, Ahmed Yusuf, said the bread he bought for N550 a few months ago had gone up to N800.
“The funny thing is that the quantity of bread these days is laughable as an individual can finish N300 loaf of bread and will still be hungry.
“I usually make a gain of N80 on one bread, but now I make only N20, and we were told that raw materials of bread had gone up.”