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Business News of Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Source: www.punchng.com

Bakers end strike, hike bread price again

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The Premium Breadmakers Association of Nigeria says it has suspended its four-day warning strike which began on Thursday.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday, the PBAN President, Emmanuel Onuorah, said his members had resolved to increase prices of bread in order to cushion the impact of the harsh operating environment.

He said, “We have ended the warning strike/withdrawal of services. We finished it on Monday and we have resumed business. We have begun production and selling of bread since yesterday (Monday). Master Bakers have started too. We ended it at the same time. You know it was a joint resolution from the Master Bakers and PBAN. So, we have started work.

We did increase the price of bread. We increased our bread price by 10 per cent, master bakers increased their bread price by 20 per cent. Inasmuch as we wouldn’t have loved to implement any price increase, it is the only way we can remain in business.”

According to Onuorah, despite the recent hike the bakers are still operating at a deficit, adding that members have been forced to adopt several survival strategies to remain in business.

The PUNCH had reported how bakers under the aegis of the PBAN announced plans to halt production last week.

A statement signed by the association said operating a bakery in Nigeria had become almost impossible as the incessant increases in the prices of baking materials and diesel had affected the industry negatively.

The statement read in part, “In a move to ensure the survival of the premium bread-making industry in Nigeria, we have decided to embark on a withdrawal of services beginning from Thursday 21st of July, 2022 for four days in the first instance and where there is no intervention from the government, we shall escalate the duration of the withdrawal.”

“The reasons for the withdrawal of services included an incessant increase in the price of baking materials, Federal Government’s 15 per cent wheat development levy on wheat imports, NAFDAC’s N154,000 penalty charged for late renewal of certificates, the inability of its members to access grants and soft loans being given by the Central Bank of Nigeria to Micro, Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises and multi-agencies regulation of the bread-making industry.”