Bakers on The Verge of a Nationwide Strike

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Osaretin Balogban

The Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria threaten to stop their services across the country from henceforth.

The association’s reasons are the hike in the price of bakery materials, the cost of diesel, and other related issues which affect their services. The union had threatened to embark on a strike as of the 25th of June for the same reasons.

Abuja’s Union Chairman of AMBCN, Ishaq Adbulrahehem, disclosed that the new development is a result of the increase in the price of bakery materials such as flour, sugar and other baking ingredients.

He said: “We are withdrawing our services nationwide. We expect government’s response so that we can review whatever we are doing. The high cost of ingredients, rate at which we are buying diesel – which is N880 per litre in the FCT – and the issue of cassava initiative that the Federal Government started so that we can move forward and save the economy are among the major issues.”

He also complained about the policies imposed by the government on bakers, adding that outrageous levies are been charged by regulatory agencies.

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 “We are the second largest employers of labour in the country. But we are subjected to so many issues, not only the price increase. There is the issue of our regulatory agencies.

 “There are issues of duplications in the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the rate at which the payment for registration is going up.

 “We are paying too much. The registration fee with NAFDAC, which was initially N2,500, increased to N35,00 and now to N100,000.

 “There is no ease of doing business. All the fees have tripled with all regulatory agencies. They said we must register with the two agencies. The government should address this so we can move forward.”

The AMBCN chairman revealed that all efforts of the union to reach the government and its ministries concerning these issues had failed.

The Managing Director of NEXTER Bakery in Abuja, Adewumi Bukola, demanded that the Federal Government should handle the challenges faced by bakers, so they can be able to render services to their customers.

“The government should cut relevant taxes and check the ever-increasing exchange rate of foreign currencies.

 “We are not embarking on the measure to the detriment of our customers, but to assist them and enhance our businesses.”

  “We can’t bear it anymore. The last time, we did a little increment with the new prices of raw materials. We can’t continue to remain in business because customers won’t be able to afford bread if we keep increasing the prices.” Adewumi said.

Source: The Nation

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