Bread now food for rich Nigerians: Baker
A master baker, Thomas Odey, says quality bread in Nigeria has become food for the rich amid the rising cost of production.
Mr Odey stated this on Wednesday in Calabar while reacting to the high cost of flour and other condiments.
“Today, quality bread has become the food for the rich and many bakers without consciences are using adulterated materials such as saccharine to augment because the market is not controlled,” he said.
The baker said the cost of producing bread had become so high that many bakeries in Calabar were either shut down or contemplating doing so.
“As of January, a 50 kilogrammes bag of wheat flour was between N16,000 and N17,500, but today, it is N28,000 in the market; sugar was between N15,000 to N16,000 while today, it goes for N28,500,” he explained. “The vegetable oil we use in baking was sold for N19,000 per 20 litres earlier in the year but is presently sold at N28,000; yeast was sold at N12,000 for a carton of 20 packets of 20 grams each, but now it is around N21,500.”
Mr Odey noted that due to the poor power supply, the bakeries relied on diesel to power their generators, but the product price is now over N800 per litre and still scarce.
He said, depending on the capacity of a bakery, a baker could use as much as 200 to 250 litres of diesel daily.
“This is why bakers under the auspices of Master Bakers of Nigeria are contemplating a two-week nationwide strike to protest the high cost of flour and other baking materials in the nation. The strike option may be necessary to get the federal government’s attention on the challenges bakers go through to ensure a steady supply of bread and other confectioneries.
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