National President of the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN) Mansur Umar has directed its members to increase prices of bread and other bakeries by 30%, citing an increase in the purchase of baking ingredients and materials; Although, Lagos chapter of AMBCN, Progressive Bakers Association of Nigeria (PBAN) says it will not increase its own prices for the time being.
Mansur Umar who made this disclosure during the association national executive council (NEC) meeting in Abuja on Wednesday stated that “After considering the impact of the skyrocketing prices of baking ingredients/materials, for the survival of our noble business, which is presently bleeding, the association came to the conclusion to adjust our prices by 30 per cent. The incessant increase in prices of flour and other baking materials is responsible for the decision. In the last six months, one truck of flour that we used to buy at less than N6m is now N9m."
While reacting to the above statement, Prince Jacob Adejorin, former Chairman, AMBCN, Lagos Chapter, now National Leader of Progressive Bakers Association of Nigeria (PBAN), says his group is not contemplating a 30 per cent increase in the prices of bread, biscuits and other items. Although, he admitted that the prices of flour and other baking ingredients are on the rice. He added that PBAN broke out of AMBCN due to some internal irregularities.
“Notwithstanding the increase in the cost of baking items, we have no plans to increase the cost of bread and other baking items from what it is currently. The cost of flour has increased drastically, that is the problem we have right now in the baking industry and that is what we are objecting to,” he said.
In 2020 during the heat of the pandemic, AMBCN had hinted at a 50 % increase in the price of bread citing the surging cost of raw materials and COVID-19 impact, although, the government intervened by ramping up local production of raw materials such as wheat and sugar. Earlier in the year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), hinted at plans to include sugar and wheat on the list of import items banned from accessing foreign exchange.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) stated in April that the price of a loaf of sliced bread grew by 5.18 per cent year-on-year while unsliced bread grew by 6.14 per cent.
AMBCN concluded by tasking the federal government to take urgent steps towards reducing the high price of flour and also urged the government to reverse the high tariff regime imposed by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and limit regulation of bakers to NAFDAC.