By Chinyere Anyanwu
Amid a nationwide outrage over soaring price of bread, consumers of the breakfast staple have been told to be ready to pay more over rising cost of wheat flour, a major component for the baking the product. The planned price increase is coming barely two weeks after prices of various sizes of bread were officially hiked by master bakers, citing the Russian Ukraine war.
National Leader of Progressive Bakers Association of Nigeria (PBAN), Prince Jacob Adejonrin, who gave the hint at the weekend during a chat with Daily Sun, said this was imminent as the last has not been heard of rising price of flour by millers.
Adejonrin, who noted that bakers will not sell their product at a loss, explained that, “as millers increase the price of flour, cost of loaves of bread is bound to increase again because it’s how you bought that you are going to sell. The recent increment we made was not even tangible, but we are barely managing it to stay in business.”
Lamenting that bread may soon disappear from the breakfast tables of ordinary Nigerian consumers, the PBAN national leader said, “as it is going, we don’t know whether bread will still remain on the table of the common man. Very soon, there might not be small loaves anymore. The minimum price of bread might be starting from N1,000.
“Flour millers are crying about foreign exchange now. Dollar is now N711 or thereabout, so consumers should be expecting more increases in price of bread because millers are also going to increase the price of flour again, without gainsaying it. So as millers are raising prices of flour, cost of a loaf of bread is going to increase again.”
Stressing the danger the situation poses to the baking industry and economy as a whole, Adejonrin stated that several members of his association have been forced out of business due to Nigeria’s harsh operating environment. “Many are no more in the industry but have left to become okada riders, conductors, keke riders, among others.” He regretted the huge adverse impact the Russia and Ukraine war is having on the country’s baking industry as the two countries are the major producers and exporters of wheat, saying it is what is causing the current challenge in wheat availability and pricing.