NIGERIA -Bakers under Premium Bread Makers Association and flour millers are at loggerheads over the looming hike in bread prices following the skyrocketing cost of flour.
According to the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria, bread prices would be increased by 15 percent nationwide effective July 24 as bakers grapple with the cost of production.
Speaking to The Punch, Emmanuel Onuorah, the president of the Premium Bread Makers Association (PBAN) expressed concern stating that flour millers’ move to increase the price of flour was unfair to bakers amid the devaluation of the naira.
According to him, increased input costs in recent months had further exacerbated the plight of bakers who were already being burdened by a vast array of macroeconomic challenges.
He stated that many of his members had abandoned the business of breadmaking due to the numerous challenges in the business environment.
“They’re going to implement the increase in the price of flour in tranches. They have added N2,000, with the possibility of adding another N3,000. I don’t know when, but that’s their plan. In the last three months, they have added N10,000 to the price of sugar. 150kg bag of sugar has gone up by N10,000,” Onuorah lamented.
The recent removal of fuel subsidy and devaluation of the naira, he added, had led to a significant increase in the overhead costs of breadmakers who were being forced to produce below optimal capacity.
Onuorah said the leadership of the union had already instructed the members to adjust prices in light of the recent developments to keep up with production costs.
“We have started doing it individually without necessarily giving any percentage adjustment. If any bakery does not adjust the price, they will close down.
Reacting, the Corporate Communications Manager at Flour Mills of Nigeria, Modupe Thani, however, denied the claim by PBAN that the price of flour had been increased.
According to Modupe, the allegations are false adding that the price of four has not gone up.
I’m not sure where that story is coming from. I also spoke with my people in-house and they said nothing like that has happened. The price of flour has not been increased for more than one year,” Modupe said in defense.
The General Secretary of the Flour Mills Association of Nigeria, Saliu Olalekan, refused to comment on the matter on the ground that the association would not get involved in matters revolving around the price of the product.