The Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN) states a 50 per cent increase in the prices of bread is inevitable.
Raji Omotunde, Lagos state chapter chairman of AMBCN, made this known in an interview with NAN on Friday.
He said the prices of baking ingredients have risen due to the coronavirus pandemic, adding that manufacturers are now running at a loss.
“Prices of all ingredients used for baking are too high, especially flour and sugar. Between March and September, there has been a monthly addition of N500 on a bag of flour and bakers have been bearing the additional cost,” he said.
“But as it is, baking bread and selling at the current price is no longer profitable. We have been appealing to the millers but they are groaning about the absence and increase in the price of foreign exchange. The only option we have now is to cry out so that the government can come to our rescue.”
Nura Musa, the public relations officer of AMBCN Abuja chapter, called for government intervention.
He said an increase in prices will influence sales, which will consequently affect bakery jobs across the country.
Musa said government support is needed to reduce production costs, which according to him, is killing the bakery business.
“The instability of foreign exchange, high cost of diesel and other baking materials are reasons given by flour millers for the hike in the prices of baking materials,” he said.
“We have appealed to flour millers and other people involved in the selling of baking materials to reduce their prices, but they have not responded.
“And that is why we are pleading with Federal Government to intervene in this matter by engaging the flour millers and baking material sellers.
“The association is one of the largest employers of labour in the country and if any bakery should fold up many people will lose their jobs.”
A bag of flour, which sold at N10,500 before the outbreak of coronavirus, now sells at N13, 000.
Also, a bag of sugar now sells between N19, 000 and N20,000 depending on bargaining power against the pre-COVID-19 price of N14,000.
The alarm on the possible increase in the cost of bread is coming at a time when there is the outrage over hike in the pump price of petrol and new electricity tariff.