The National President, Association of Master Bakers of Nigeria, Mr. Simeon Abanulor said has said that about 45,000 bakers have been put out of business in the last three months due to high cost of wheat.
Abanulor said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Aba, Abia State. He said: “You will not believe the number of bakeries that will close shops.
“We have over 450,000 bakeries in Nigeria and of this number more than 10 per cent are out of business. “It is a very critical matter.” The chief master baker said the trend had resulted in loss of jobs.
According to Abanulor, many people have lost their jobs due to the high cost of the major ingredient for baking. He said the bakers were yet to begin the use of cassava flour to bake quality bread due to non availability of enhancers.
“But for now, although the cassava flour is there, we cannot use it because there is no acceptable enhancer. “The BAKESURE enhancer that government approved for use is produced in South Africa and it is costly.”
Abanulor, however, said the bakers had entered into negotiations with an American company to provide cassava flour enzyme enhancers, adding that the negotiations had yet to yield results.
Abanulor noted that the price of bread would still rise because the cost of wheat flour was still on the increase following high foreign exchange rates.
He, therefore, urged the government to assist bakers and bread consumers by providing special cassava flour bread-enhancers for them.