October 1, 2022

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Group pulls out of bakers’ strike

Amidst the strike by the Premium Breadmakers Association of Nigeria over rising production costs of bread, the Supreme Bakers and Confectioners Association on Thursday said they would not partake in the action in the national interest.

The PBAN had in a statement by its President, Emmanuel Onuorah, announced plans to halt production with effect from Thursday.

According to him, bakery has become almost impossible as the incessant increases in the prices of baking materials and diesel have affected the industry negatively.

Onuorah said bakeries were running in losses and the situation was no longer sustainable.

But while acknowledging that the nation’s economy, just as those of other countries globally, was currently experiencing a slump, the SBCA said the development demanded belt-tightening for both corporate and private individuals.

The President of SBCA, Edmond Egbuji, said these in a statement titled, ‘Our stand On the bakery debacle in Nigeria’, obtained by The PUNCH in Abuja.

He said, “We the Supreme Bakers and Confectioners Association wish to make our position clear on the current state of affairs in the bakery industry in Nigeria.

“The nation’s economy, just as those of other countries globally, is currently experiencing a slump.
This calls for belt-tightening for both corporate and private individuals.

“It would be recalled that some bakers associations on July 13, 2022, embarked on two weeks warning strike claiming it was due to a hike in the prices of baking materials.

“According to the statement, the group will embark on the strike if the Federal Government does not give the necessary attention to their demands.

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“Baking of bread and other confectioneries like other private businesses are facing the same global economic challenges that are not necessarily peculiar to Nigeria.

“We are working together with the Federal Government and some of the manufacturers and importers of baking materials to see how to cushion the effects on our members and the public.

“Bread is one of the common foods for the common man so to forcefully withdraw it from him will be disastrous.

“We, therefore, recognise that taking up a confrontational stance against the industry’s regulatory bodies or the federal government is not the way to go about it at the moment.

“We would rather continue to engage them in dialogue to fashion out a workable solution that would bring succour to the millions of Nigerians that are going through hard times.

“Our resolve is not to worsen the plight of ordinary Nigerians by denying them access to bread, which is currently one of their staple foods.

“Our intention is not to embark on strike action but rather to sit at a roundtable and come to grips with how to ameliorate the present difficulty confronting us.

“It is the intention of Supreme Bakers and Confectioners Association to join hands with the government to achieve this. Nigerians deserve to have their burdens made lighter, not worse.”