Bread, a common food item on family menu may become expensive as the coronavirus pandemic has caused the price of the ingredients to soar.
Bakers in Lagos State have therefore pleaded with the Federal Government to intervene in the prices of baking materials, to prevent increase in the prices of bread by 60 per cent anytime soon.
The bakers complained that the increase in the prices of baking materials was because of the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the world.
In a statement by the Lagos Chairmen, Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria, Kosofe and Surulere local chapters, Comrade Taiwo Akintola and Comrade Ibitoye Oladapo, the group expressed sadness over the situation the bakers were battling with.
According to the association, the high cost of baking materials is killing the bakery businesses, as many bakeries are finding it difficult to make profits due to the high cost of the materials.
“A bag of flour that costs 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 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 group said.
They added that the prices of salt, yeast and other baking materials had also hit the roof top.
The association also 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, stressing that the association has appealed to flour millers and other people involved in the selling of baking materials to reduce their prices, but is yet to yield favorable response.
“And that is why we are pleading with 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 bakery sector are already losing their jobs,” the group added.
While appealing to both federal and state governments to quickly come in and address the situation for the benefit of all, the association maintained that “If we are supposed to follow the trend of increase in the prices of raw materials for our production, the prices of bread may increase by 60per cent,” the bakers said.