To protest the constant rise in the price of flour and other baking supplies, the Nigerian Association of Master Bakers and Caterers has vowed to shut down its operations nationwide.
The bakers have given the federal government a two-week deadline, beginning September 23, to remedy the situation, which they claim is destroying the sector.
Alhaji Mansur Umar, the association’s National President, issued the warning yesterday during a press conference following their National Executive Council meeting in Abuja.
If the rising cost of baking materials is not addressed immediately, he believes bakers may soon become extinct.
“We would order our members to withdraw their services across the nation for one week,” he warned if the federal government failed to solve the problem after the two-week deadline expired.
Umar bemoaned the fact that the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) jacked up its pricing system in the face of rising baking material prices and numerous levies, exacerbating their predicament.
He said that the circumstances had forced them to raise their product pricing by 30% across the board.
Some of their members have gone out of business as a result of the circumstances, according to Umar, while others are in debt.
At this time, most of our baking materials have risen to a level where appropriate bakery products pricing has become a very serious challenge.
“Our plea for the streamlining of our products regulations has not been heeded to, instead NAFDAC tariff regime has once again been jerked up.
“It becomes worrisome if the managers of our economy actually wish the bakery industry to remain or go extinct,” he said.
He advised members of the group, however, not to give up on their efforts to preserve the industry from extinction.
We have no other industry than this, so we must fight with all we have to keep the industry alive. Remember, survival is the first instinct of life. We must not behave like dinosaurs that refused to adapt to changes in their environment and are now extinct.
“Arise great master bakers and expeditiously begin the correction of this obvious abnormally, which, if not checked, will drive us into the unemployment market,” he added