Bakers in Lagos State have called on the Federal Government to intervene in the prices of baking materials, saying the current situation may lead to an increase in the prices of bread.
In a statement jointly issued by the chairmen of the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria, Kosofe and Surulere, Lagos, Taiwo Akintola and Ibitoye Oladapo, respectively, the group expressed sadness over the rates of baking materials due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to them, the cost of the materials is killing the bakery business, as many bakeries are no longer to make profits.
“A bag of flour that cost N9,000 before COVID-19, now goes for N13,000, while a bag of sugar now costs N24,000 as against the former price of N13,000.
“Butter is now N12,000 against the former price of N7,500, while milk, which was hitherto N29,000, now goes for N52,000. And there is an increase in the bread packaging cost, which is now N12,000, against the former price of N10,000,” the bakers said.
They added that the prices of salt, yeast and other baking materials had hit the rooftop.
The association explained that the instability of foreign exchange, high cost of diesel and other baking materials, were reasons given by flour millers for the hike in the prices of baking materials.
They said appeals to the millers and others for reduction in prices had not yielded any favourable response.
“And that is why we are pleading with the Federal Government to intervene in this matter by talking to flour millers and baking material sellers to bring the prices down.
“Master bakers association is one of the largest employers of labour in the country and most of the bakeries are folding up; many Nigerians working in the sector are already losing their jobs,” the group added.
The association maintained that if the situation continued, the prices of bread might be increased by 60 per cent.