The cost of bread has increased recently due to a lack of access to foreign cash and a rise in the price of baking supplies.
Breadmakers made this announcement on Monday in Lagos while paying a courtesy call to baking sector stakeholders on behalf of the Premium Breadmakers Association of Nigeria (PBAN).
It claimed that a hefty tax on imported raw ingredients used to make bread contributed significantly to the increase in bread prices.
Limited opportunities for ease of doing business were also noted as a major barrier for the nation’s confectionery industry.
The Federal Government should create favorable and workable economic policies that will support and encourage baking in the nation, according to PBAN national president Engr. Emmanuel Onuorah.
In order to support investors in the industry, he believes that the federal government should intentionally remove taxes on wheat and other baking materials.
Speaking at Lesaffre Africa BA Nigeria Distribution Ltd. in Ajah, Lagos, Engineer Onuorah also lamented the dearth of foreign currency that Nigerian banks were charging producers for raw materials.
Rather than importing raw materials from abroad, the French business was ordered by the President of PBAN to create their production unit in Nigeria.
He emphasized that establishing the raw materials company will improve returns and provide work for a large number of Nigerians.
To him, “The federal government policy on importation of raw materials is suffocating us and will kill our businesses. The baking industry will fold up if the government fails to remove the levy placed on wheat. The resultant effect of this is that Nigerians will die of hunger with the high levies placed on bread-making products.
“And if bread, which is the easiest food for common man in the country, becomes extremely unaffordable to buy, how do the people survive?.
“For the players in the industry to survive the quagmire, the government should remove the levy placed on the importation of flour, wheat, yeast, and other baking materials. If flour and wheat are cheaper, the cost of bread will also come down, or else, Nigerians may die of hunger.”
Johnny Halabi, the chief operating officer of Lesaffre BA Nigeria Distribution, urged the Nigerian government to lessen the country’s heavy reliance on foreign exchange for the purchase of raw materials in a statement he made separately.
Halabi emphasized the importance of modernizing the refineries and strengthening the Naira to facilitate trade.
The managing director of Macadams Baking Systems Nigeria, Deji Oyinlola, praised PBAN in his own proposal for including pertinent industry stakeholders in order to relieve the industry’s bottleneck.
According to Oyinlola, the company has conducted extensive research to ensure that baking supplies are suitable for the Nigerian market and that bakers can maintain a profitable operation.