Nigeria: More Bakeries Shut Down Over High Cost of Flour, Other Ingredients

Bread, a favourite Nigerian fathers welcome home gifts for their children, is disappearing in homes.

Most households have now jettisoned the pastry from their diet lists, as the prices of flour and other ingredients for making bread have continued to increase, leaving bread prices on a high side.

The bakery owners are not left out of this dilemma, as they struggle between the increased prices of ingredients, and how to still be in the business to satisfy their customers.

To worsen the situation, many bakery owners are shutting down, due to their inability to meet up with increasing cost of ingredients.

Several increases have been done in the prices of bread since the Russian-Ukraine war, which has resulted in unavailability of enough flour all around the world.

Gone are the days when you will visit a baker and you go home with a loaf of bread. Now, even the workers in bakeries have to pay to have a loaf.

Speaking to Economy&Lifestyle, Mr. Abayomi Olorunfemi, a baker noted that apart from shutting down business, some bakery owners are reducing the sizes and increasing the prices of bread to make ends meet.

“This country’s economy is really dealing with businesses.

“It has turned smart business men into people who aren’t smart anymore.

“Many of my colleagues in the business are shutting down. Those who have three to four bakeries now have two.

“Some are now reducing the size of their bread and increasing the prices.

“This year, bakers have increased the prices of bread over three times.

“It is very traumatic because customers no longer patronize bread due to the increased prices and small quantity and lessened quality.”

Mrs. Are Toluwalase, a business woman, said she had to stop buying bread when the price of a family size bread was increased to N1,200 from N1,100.

“I stopped buying bread when the price of a family size bread was increased to N1,200 from N1,100 two months ago.

“The quantity is nothing to write home about. With two cuttings, a family size bread is finished.

“Before you get such bread for N500. I have a family of six.

“Having bread and tea as breakfast requires that I purchase three loaves of bread at N3,600 which was N1,500 then.

” We had to switch to oats, yam and egg and other light food for breakfast to cut costs.”

Mr. Aderotimi Samuel, a bakery owner, said he has two bakeries in Ikorodu but recently shut down one to be able to meet the cost of maintenance.

“I have two bakeries in Ikorodu which I have been running for over six years now.

“But the cost of maintenance coupled with the increased prices of flour and other ingredients is disrupting the business.

“I just shut down one few weeks back to be able to run the other.

“Even the wheat millers are complaining about the high cost of diesel and logistics which has also resulted in the increase in flour price.

“We also have people working for us. I had to lay off some staff and retain the hard working ones.

“Many of my colleagues are doing same to keep being in the business.

“It is not easy anymore. People are now going for cheap alternatives and abandoning bread.

“Those we are selling in retail prices to are also complaining of low patronage.

“Before we sell up to three bags of flour made bread but now we hardly sell one and a half bags.

“God help us in this country.”

Mrs Janet Omoh, a flour and baking ingredients seller at Akpogbon said:”The cost of flour is increasing daily just like every other thing in the country.

“I am selling it to keep being in business as there are no high proceeds in this business that can even sustain you,not to talk of your family.

“Butter, yeast, baking pan is not left out.

“Before, a 50kg bag of flour was sold for N20,000.

Now the price is N38,000 to N40,000. imagine the wide margin.

“Then the price of 15kg margarine has risen to N45,000 from N28,000.

“Sugar, salt, yeast and other baking ingredients are not left out.”

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