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Bread makers in Africa’s largest economy declare nationwide strike over price hikes

July 21st 2022, 1:26:59 pm
Bread makers in Africa’s largest economy declare nationwide strike over price hikes
  • The Premium Breadmakers Association of Nigeria (PBAN) have begun a four-day warning strike to protest the unbearable cost of doing business in Nigeria.
  • The association also called for the stoppage of multi – agencies' regulation of the breadmaking industry.
  • As Nigeria grapples with a financial crisis causing unemployment and inflation, many people struggle to buy groceries.

Nigerians should expect an increased scarcity of bread and a hike in its price as breadmakers, under the aegis of the Premium Breadmakers Association of Nigeria (PBAN), have begun a four-day warning strike to protest the hike in the price of flour and other ingredients.

According to reports, PBAN will extend the duration of the strike action if the government fails to intervene, as the cost of operation is no longer sustainable.

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In a statement on Wednesday, the President of Premium Breadmakers Association of Nigeria (PBAN), Emmanuel Onuorah, said that operating a bakery in Nigeria has become near impossible as the incessant increase in the prices of baking materials and diesel rendered the industry comatose.

He added that members of his association, comprising owners, managing directors and partners of premium bakeries in Nigeria, are mostly running on huge losses, which is no longer sustainable.

Breadmakers’ request

  • According to DailyTrust, the Premium Breadmakers Association of Nigeria (PBAN) has asked the federal government to stop charging a 15% wheat development levy on wheat imports. 
  • PBAN has also requested that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) review downwards the N154,000 penalty charged to bakeries on late renewal of certificates.
  • PBAN also called on the government to grant members access to grants and soft loans from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to Minor, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs).
  • The association also called for the stoppage of multi – agencies’ regulation of the breadmaking industry.

Babalola Thomas, the association’s spokesperson, said that their bakeries are incurring a “huge loss” due to the continuous increase in baking materials and diesel.

He added, "Bread is a staple food and one of the cheapest ‘grab and go’ food available for the poor and rich. It, therefore, behoves the federal government to be mindful of this and ensure the survival and sustainability of the industry.”

Globally, prices for flatbread have gone up following Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. Russia and Ukraine together supply about 26% of the world's wheat exports, according to the latest USDA data. Unfortunately, the war has significantly disrupted global wheat supplies and forced prices to rise as nations compete for available supplies.

Victor Oluwole
Head and Editor at Business Insider Africa

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