The Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN) says a 50 per cent increase in retail prices of bread and other finished baked items is inevitable.
The leadership of the association disclosed in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.
Mr Raji Omotunde, Lagos State chapter Chairman of AMBCN attributed the proposed increase in price to the inflated prices experienced in the purchase of baking ingredients. Omotunde said that several engagements with flour millers revealed constraints with access to foreign exchange to procure materials for the milling process.
“Prices of all ingredients used for baking are too high, especially flour and sugar.
“Between March and September, 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.
“The only option we have now is to cry out so that government can come to our rescue,” he said.
Mr Nura Musa, the Public Relations Officer, Abuja Chapter of AMBCN called for the government to intervene to reduce the prices of baking materials.
He said the high cost of baking materials was killing the bakery business, which was one of the major employers of labour in the country.
“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.
“We have appealed to flour millers and other people involved in the selling of baking materials to reduce their prices but they have not responded.
“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 the country and if any bakery should fold up many people will lose their jobs.
A survey by NAN shows that a bag of flour before the COVID-19 pandemic in March, which was N10, 500 is now N13, 000.
Also, a bag of sugar now sells between N19, 000 and N20, 000 depending on bargaining power against the pre-COVID-19 price of N14,000.
NAN also reports increments in the price of butter, yeast and bread packaging from N8,500, N12, 000 and N10 to N11,000, N14, 500 and N12,000.