The Premium Breadmakers Association of Nigeria (PBAN) and the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN) have warned that they will increase the price of bread if measures are not taken to address issues affecting the bread industry.
The two associations gave the warning today at a joint press conference held yesterday in Lagos. The President, PBAN, Tosan Jemide, said businesses had become comatose due to incessant increases in the prices of baking ingredients.
He noted that noted that over the last six months the prices of flour, sugar and other baking ingredients had skyrocketed without a corresponding increase in prices of bread by member bakeries. He said, “We have been busy helping them remain profitable while our businesses suffer, because we are more in tune with the purchasing power of the consumer and are deeply concerned about food security.
“PBAN and AMBCN shall no longer take seat and watch such blatant increases in prices going forward. We shall react with equal price increases or stiff resistance.”
Jemide appealed to government to intervene with the rising cost by prevailing on ingredients sellers and imploring millers to put a stop to the incessant increment of price. He also called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) to help the industry by reining in on millers or supporting them whatever way they could to help them with access to forex.
The bakers complained that the wheat development programme put in place since 2012 had yet to produce results despite 15 per cent development levy. They requested that government ensure the programme functions properly to justify the 15 per cent levy or scrap it if it was not viable.
The associations suggested that government revisit its forex policy by giving wheat importers priority in accessing foreign exchange because local wheat production could not meet with the growing demand of flour.
“According to several financial reports, the size of the Nigerian bread industry is estimated at $621 million with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3% within the next year. As an Industry, we contribute greatly to job creation, food security and economic growth in Nigeria. We should be supported to remain sustainable by the Federal and States Governments by providing an enabling environment for our businesses to thrive,” he added.