Prices of bread, a stable food in most Nigerian homes, may go up by 90 per cent as bakers complain of a 106 per cent increase in basic baking ingredients in the country.
President of the Premium Bread Makers Association of Nigeria (PBAN), Mr. Tosan Jemide, at a press conference in Lagos, lamented that prices of basic ingredients like sugar, flour, salt, margarine, yeast, preservatives as well as the cost of diesel used in powering generators in bread factories had gone up by 106 per cent between 2015 – 2018 making it imperative for bread makers to also increase prices if they are to remain in business.
In his break down of the data, between 2015 and 2018, the price of flour had increased from N6,500 to N11,500 per 50 kilogram bag, while sugar had seen 77 per cent rise in price in the same period, with salt, margarine, yeast and preservatives recording 84 per cent, 67 per cent, 112 per cent, 45 per cent and 137 per cent increases, respectively.
Besides, Jemide said the price of diesel had gone up by 57 per cent, while the price of improvers used in enhancing the quality of bread had risen by 160 per cent during the period.
He, however, regretted that the price of bread had only gone up by 11 per cent rise within the period.
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Currently, a loaf of bread containing 20 and 25 slices costs N250 and N300 respectively, while the jumbo size (not sliced) sells for N450 or N500.
“The challenges we face as a result of the incessant increase in the prices of baking ingredients have rendered most premium bakeries comatose making us to operate at a loss.
“Most of the bakers are running on negative margins as we are subsidising bread for the public and if we are to charge appropriate prices for the loaf of bread consumed in Nigeria today, then cost of bread should move up by 90 per cent and this will make bread a luxury rather than the stable food that it is to most homes in Nigeria.
“Most of us got loans with double-digit interest rates from financial institutions to fund our bakery projects and are finding it extremely difficult to meet our loan repayment obligations
“It is in light of this that we appeal to the Federal Government to look into the issues that currently threaten the existence of the premium bakery industry in Nigeria,” Jemedi added.