Business

Bread scarcity looms as bakers mull shutdown over diesel price hike

Author:
Wasilat Azeez

Bakers under the aegis of the Premium Breadmakers Association of Nigeria (PBAN) say they are considering shutting down operations over a hike in diesel price.

Emmanuel Onuorah, PBAN President, said this during a recent interview with ThePunch.

Onuorah lamented that surging diesel prices were taking a serious toll on bread production for the association’s members.

He said it had also caused an inevitable rise in bread prices.

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“This country may collapse on everybody. Industries will shut down operations, and all of us will go down. Imagine the price of diesel going towards N850/litre,” he said.

“Remember, I said wheat is not the problem, and that it is energy that will be the major problem in this Russian-Ukraine war. Almost N850 for a litre of diesel, and they are still increasing it every day.”

“Is it that marketers just brought in this product and this is why they are increasing the price by the day? Our businesses will just begin to shut down one after the other. That’s what I’m contemplating doing now. I will shut down all the bakeries.

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“Diesel is what we use in running our generators, diesel is what we use in running our oven. What we were buying N350 is now about N850 in less than a week.”

Onuorah said the ripple effects of the diesel price hike would have a major effect on industries across the globe, particularly in Nigeria where there are no current measures to cushion negative impacts.

“It’s going to be a major problem. It’s going to have a major ripple effect on industries in Europe and everywhere, and Nigeria’s own will be worse because we don’t have any buffer. We don’t have any fall-back position,” he explained.

To prevent an imminent shutdown of operations, the PBAN president called on the federal government to urgently accelerate efforts towards tackling the problem.

Recently, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) asked the federal government to provide palliative measures to address the effects of the hike in diesel prices.

TheCable had earlier reported that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would ultimately affect the prices of bread and noodles in Nigeria.

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