The Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN), Abuja chapter, says its members have agreed to implement a 20 percent increase in the prices of bread.
Nura Musa, the AMBCN public relations officer in Abuja, also said contrary to speculation, the union did not embark on strike, but was on a four-day clean-up exercise to educate its members on how to maintain hygiene around their work environments.
Speaking with TheCable on Monday, Musa said the increment was necessary due to the high cost of ingredients.
He said when there is a decline in the prices of raw materials, the cost of bread will reduce as well.
The decision comes days after its Lagos chapter announced that there would be a 50 percent increase in the prices of bread because “all ingredients used for baking are too high.”
“We did not go on strike. It was a cleaning exercise. We met with our members to look at the cost of production, and we settled for a 20 percent increase so as to cover their cost of production and also provide gain for the business,” Musa said.
According to Musa, the union inspected some bakeries in the federal capital territory (FCT), to ensure that their operations conformed with the standards of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
“We had to educate members so that they know the rules and regulation of NAFDAC. Those that do not have NAFDAC numbers, we encouraged them to get,” he said.
He also warned consumers to be sure that the products they consume approved by NAFDAC.
“Do not buy bread because it is big and heavy. When you are buying bread, you need to check for three things. First, you need to check that there is NAFDAC number on the package. Second, you have to be sure that the bread carries a tag of being ‘bromate and saccharin free’, and it must have an address and contact number. These are NAFDAC standards. Bromate causes cancer, so don’t buy such bread,” he said.
Musa also pleaded with the government to provide “direct grants and loans” to bakers, and also revisit the cassava bread policy, which he said would reduce the importation of wheat.
“Ninety percent of ingredients used in making bread are imported. We consume a lot of wheat. Wheat is among the highest products imported into the country. If the cassava policy is effected, this would reduce the importation of wheat,” he added