BREAD makers, under the Premium Breadmakers Association of Nigeria (PBAN) umbrella, have lamented the difficulty in operating bakeries in Nigeria.
As a result, they have concluded plans to embark on a withdrawal of their services from Thursday, July 21, 2022 for a four-day period, in the first instance, according to a statement issued by the association.
“Bread is a staple food and one of the cheapest ‘grab and go’ foods available for both the poor and rich. It, therefore, behoves on the federal government to be mindful of this and ensure the survival and sustainability of the industry.
“In a move to ensure the survival of the premium breadmaking industry in Nigeria, we have decided to embark on a withdrawal of services beginning from Thursday 21st 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 statement, dated July 20, 2022, read.
The statement, jointly signed by the PBAN president, Emmanuel Onuorah, and its public and industrial relations officer, Babalola Thomas, appealed to the Federal government to stop charging 15 per cent wheat development levy on wheat import.
It also requested the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to review downwards the N154,000 penalty charged against bakeries on late renewal of certificates.
The association explained that prices of baking materials had gone up and sought access to grants and soft loans being given by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs).
It also requested stoppage of what it called the multi-agencies regulation of the breadmaking industry.
PBAN, disclosing its sister association had been having series of meetings with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Abuja (FMITI) since 2021, noted that nothing much had come out of that effort.
Last month, the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of (AMBCN) had threatened that its members would withdraw their services nationwide over the same matter.
In a communique AMBCN issued, it stated that the cost of flour, sugar and other materials used in the bakery business had skyrocketed beyond the reach of many bakers.