Following the rise in the cost of bread-making materials, the Rivers State chapter of the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers in Nigeria has urged consumers in the state to prepare for a new price regime from Monday, July 31.
The state chairman of the association, Dr Chidi Orlu, said this on Sunday while speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt.
Orlu explained that the country’s current economic realities were impacting negatively on bakers’ production costs, but noted that the increment will be minimal.
He stated, “From Monday the prices of bread in Rivers State will increase slightly. We plead with consumers and the general public to understand us.
“We are all in the same market, the same economy. All the raw materials without exception used in producing bread have gone up.
“The issue of the petroleum. Product, fuel and diesel have not helped matters. If we don’t adjust these prices, more bakeries will be out of business.”
Continuing, he said,” We may have a situation where people will be given poison in the name of bread. So it is in the interest of the general public to understand”
Dr Orlu disclosed that some bakers have since stopped production owing to their inability to cope with the high cost of the materials.
He, therefore, advised the federal government to initiate policies aimed at encouraging agriculture and the local production of wheat.
“Federal government should put policies in place that will encourage agriculture. Before the Covid-19 challenge, India, Ethiopia, and Egypt were all importing wheat.
“But within the period of that Covid till today, they are almost 100 per cent self-sufficient; and Nigeria is still importing more than 90 per cent of our wheat needs.
“Until we are able to do something reasonable about producing wheat locally, this problem will continue to persist. And the salaries of citizens have to be looked into.
“But the amount of money you are holding is not the issue, it is the purchasing power of that money you are holding, the association’s state boss noted.