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Why price of bread is high — Bakers

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The Premium Bread makers Association of Nigeria (PBAN), has said increase in the price of bread was caused by volatility in exchange.

Earlier, before the ascension to office of the present government, the exhange rate hovered around N465 to the dollar in the official market and N762 in the parallel market but soon rose close to N2,000 under the present Bola Tinubu administration which has also brought the value down to a little over N1,000.

PBAN President, Emmanuel Onuorah, who noted that most of the materials for baking bread were imported and paid for in dollars, spoke in an interview on Arise News Global Business Report yesterday.

He added that the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia has impacted negatively on the production of bread, as both warring European neighbours were major wheat suppliers to Nigeria.

Onuorah said:  “Bread is a staple food. Bread is supposed to be a pick-and-grab food at any location. It’s on the table for the children.

“Bread is a spiritual product, outside of being physical, because it does so much for humanity. As bakers, for us in Nigeria, it’s been tough.

“Some of the basic materials we use in producing our bread are imported into Nigeria, that is about almost 98 per cent and that’s the truth.

“In a country where you almost don’t have a strong productive base, and at that, everything is dependent on the dollar. When there is volatility in dollar-naira exchange, when (there is) FX issue where naira begins to go down against the dollar, we are in a problem”.

Also, late last year, following the removal of fuel subsidy and other economic reforms by President Bola Tinubu, the country began to experience an increase in the prices of food and other commodities.

Onuorah had said in December 2023 that the price of bread would increase by 15 per cent to 20 per cent in January 2024 across Nigeria, following the removal of fuel sunsidy and the government’s forex reforms.

He added:  “There is a way Nigerians want their bread.  You know we’re are the highest consumers of white bread globally.

”When you go to other places, they take croissants, they take baguettes, and other forms of bread.

“But, our bread (in Nigeria) comes in certain shapes. It must be sweet, it must be soft, and succulent. If you don’t produce it that way, you’re out of business.

“60 to 65 per cent of the whole thing comes from wheat, and most of our wheat comes from Ukraine, Russia, and other parts of the world”.

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