Hardship: Bread Bakers to Commence Nationwide Strike on February 27

by Ohepo Ohepo

The National Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria has announced plans to halt its services across the country starting from February 27, should the Federal government fail to fulfill the agreement made with the association in 2020.

The association demands immediate financial assistance and palliatives for bakers, as agreed upon by the Federal Government, to support Small and Medium Enterprises post the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the loss of over 40 percent of its members and the ongoing decline.

Additionally, the association seeks a temporary halt on all bakery industry taxes at federal, state, and local levels.

A proclamation by AMBCON’s National President, Alhaji Mansur Umar, presented by the association’s Kogi State Chairman, Chief Gabriel Adeniyi, on Tuesday, emphasized that the service suspension is a response to the significant rise in costs for essential baking ingredients like flour, sugar, yeast, vegetable oil, petrol, and diesel, exacerbated by subsidy eliminations and forex market fluctuations.

The association attributes the impending strike to excessive taxation by various government levels and increased operational costs in Nigeria.

In part, the statement demands the liberalization of flour and sugar imports, the reduction or elimination of import duties on key baking supplies like flour, sugar, butter, yeast, etc., similar to recent federal concessions for other goods, and the provision of favorable foreign exchange rates for flour millers and related parties, along with decreased tariffs on imported wheat and sugar.

The association’s further requests include promoting local wheat and sugarcane farming and processing, eliminating multiple layers of taxation, establishing a price regulation and oversight committee as permitted by the revised constitution, and other measures to improve the business climate in Nigeria.

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