Fuel scarcity could force the price of bread to rise soon — Breadmakers

NEWS DIGEST – Bread makers warned on Sunday it may prove difficult to maintain the current prices of bread in the weeks to come due to the difficulty and extra cost incurred in buying energy.

There is also huge concern about how fuel scarcity has impacted the price of essential bread starting commodities like wheat and sugar.

In some parts of the country, fuel and diesel still sell for more than their benchmark prices. Some regions instead struggle with getting fuel even when it is sold at its benchmark price.

The Premium Breadmakers Association of Nigeria, PBAN, says it has been unimpressed with the federal government’s efforts to dispel the unfavourable happenings in the country’s energy market.

“Companies are shutting down their businesses as a result of the increase in the price of diesel,” said Emmanuel Onuorah, president of the association.

“We don’t even know where this is tending towards,” Mr Onuorah told Punch Newspapers.

Only two weeks ago, the National Association of Master Bakers, Caterers of Nigeria threatened to go on strike if much was not done to combat the high production cost of bread in the country.

Chairman of the association, Mr Osmond Nkeoma, said it had become difficult to produce bread after diesel, vegetable oil and sugar began to sell at very high prices.

The key to seamless bread production is energy, according to the PBAN, and some members, Mr Onuorah added, have had to close down their businesses this week because they were unable to keep up with the rising energy cost.

“As we speak, operators in the sachet water business segment are on strike,” he said. “They’ll likely increase the price of sachet water to N25 or N30. Bigger companies are closing because of operating costs. Businesses are going under.”

In almost near certainty that the price of bread may rise soon, Mr Onuorah said wheat producers have reached out to inform them that there might be a scarcity of the product in the next two weeks.

When that eventually happens, Mr Onuorah added that millers, who grind the solid wheat into fine flour, might “raise their prices to N30,000 or N40,000.”