Bread prices to go up again

AFTERMATH OF the strike action by Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria indicates that prices of bread would increase by 20 percent if statement by a branch of the association in Kogi is adhered to.

The statement by Gabriel Bamidele-Adeniyi, Chairman, Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria, Kogi chapter, states that “Unfortunately, as we resume production, prices of bread will definitely increase by 20 per cent. A loaf of N200 will cost between N240 and N250; that of N500 will cost N600; that of N600 will cost N750; N700 will cost N880 and that of N800 will sell for between N980 and N1,000.

“We want the public to know that the new increment is not our making but that of the increase in the prices of commodities we use in production.

“We want the government to see to it that prices of yeast, sugar and flour being imported are drastically reduced. Only three companies have the licence to import them. Unfortunately, these three firms are monopolising the prices of sugar, yeast and flour to the detriment of bakers in Nigeria.”

Available data has shown that Nigeria imported about 99 percent of its wheat requirement in the first quarter of 2022 (Q1’22), and with the attendant foreign exchange (forex) demand pressure, this has been fingered as one of the major factors responsible for the ongoing bread crisis in Nigeria.

Bakers have marked up their product prices about four times this year. Just two weeks ago average retail price of bread wen up by as much as 50 percent this year.

The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, reported that the country produced only 36,943 metric tons of wheat in 2021, representing less than one percent of the country’s total annual demand.

According to NBS, wheat was Nigeria’s second most imported goods in Q1’22, accounting for N258.3 billion of the value of total imports in the period.

A 50kg bag of flour now goes for about N31,000 as against N12,600 in January 2021, representing an increase of 138 percent.

It would be recalled that bakers withdrew their services for four days late July, in a bid to call attention to the increases in materials

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