Breadmakers fix strike date to protest increasing costs of production

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Bread makers have said it will begin a four-day warning strike tomorrow, July 21 to protest unbearable cost of doing business in Nigeria.

In a statement on Wednesday, the President, Premium Breadmakers Association of Nigeria, Emmanuel Onuorah, said that operating a bakery in Nigeria has become near impossible as the incessant increase in the prices of baking materials and diesel rendered the industry comatose.

He added that members of his association comprising owners, managing directors and partners of premium bakeries in Nigeria are mostly running on huge losses and this is no longer sustainable.

Onuorah said, “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 no intervention from the government, we shall escalate the duration of the withdrawal.

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“The reasons for the withdrawal of services is as follows: Incessant increase in price of baking materials; Request Federal Government to stop charging 15 per cent Wheat development levy on wheat import; ;Request NAFDAC to review downwards the 154,000 naira penalty charged bakeries on late renewal of certificates; Grant members access to grants and soft loans being given by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to Minor, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) and Stoppage of multi – agencies regulation of the breadmaking industry.”

He disclosed that efforts to ensure the survival of the industry led to series of meetings with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Abuja (FMITI) with sister association in the breadmaking industry in 2021.

Onuorah added that the best attempts to ensure that suggestions put forward for survival of the breadmaking industry has not yielded the desired result.

“Therefore, the withdrawal of service is the only way we believe we can use to get to Federal Government and Nigerians and let them know our plight and how difficult it has been with the breadmaking industry in Nigeria,” Onuorah said.

He noted that bread is a staple food and one of the cheapest ‘grab and go’ food that is available for both the poor and rich, reason the Federal Government should ensure the survival and sustainability of the industry.