Consumers lament high prices of bread, water

A Nigerian bread

Prices of bread going up

Residents of the Federal Capital Territory and some parts of Niger have complained about the high prices of bread and sachet water which began late September.

Some of the increases were not unconnected with insecurity, the high cost of raw materials and the exchange rate of the Naira to the dollar.

A bag of sachet water which was hitherto sold for N100 is now between N200 and N250, while one sachet is sold for N20 as opposed to the N10.

Mr Dasuma Friday, a sachet water producer, narrating the causes of the increase, stated that some of the factors responsible include the high cost of trademarking the sachet and electricity.

Others, according to him, are double taxation by the authorities as well as the high cost of purchasing diesel.

Friday stated that if the old price must stay, the manufacturer would run at a loss, stressing that the reality of the high cost of raw materials necessitated the increase.

The Association of Sachet Water Manufacturers had embarked on strike in a bid to impress it on the public that the business was no longer sustainable unless they accept the price change.

The prices of bread have also gone up.

A loaf of bread earlier sold for N500 is now sold for N700 while bread loaves selling for N200 now go for N300.

The Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN), Abuja chapter, explaining the rationale for the increase, stated that the high cost of raw materials for bread production was responsible.

Mr Ishaq Abdulkareem, the Chairman of AMBCN, said that the 30 per cent increase in the price of bread was to avoid the shutdown of bakeries caused by the cost of ingredients and production.

Abdulkareem stated that the prices of all ingredients used for baking were too high, especially flour and sugar.

He stated that the cost of business registration was on the high side, adding that before now, the cost of registration was N32,500 but today it is N90,000

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Mrs Maria Cardillo, the Chief Executive Officer, Bon Bread, said that there was the need for an increase in the price of bread to avoid the collapse of the business.

She stated that the price of bread needed to be increased because “we have had an increase in prices of raw materials and we don’t have alternatives.”

Mr Adeyemi Richard, the Secretary, AMBCN, said that the price of flour and other material would not remain static, adding that flour price may likely hit N25,000, before November.

He asked bakers not to be swayed by public outcry, saying, “let’s take the courage to do this and ignore the fear of the unknown.

“All of us have strategies to keep customers to our sides but let not your price strategy bite you back; there are other things to give your customer to stay with you like giving them incentives.

“The price of flour is now N20,000 before it was N14,000, milk is N60,000 before it was N53,000, and Sugar is N22,000 before now it is N14,000.

“Butter is now N16,000 in contrast to N10,000 it was sold prior,” he said.

The Secretary said: “We regret these hikes in prices, it is due to the economic indicators and we hope this does not stay for too long.

“However, these prices are valid for as long as the cost of input materials remain stable,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Mohammed Monguno, the Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, has proposed a Bill to regulate the prices of food in the country.

The Bill titled, “An Act to Alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to make provisions for Right to Food and Security in Nigeria”.

The Bill seeks to compel the Executive to regulate the prices of food and other items to guarantee food security and lessen the economic hardship on majority of Nigerians.