Mass Sack Looms In Baking, Catering Industry


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No fewer than 4 million persons may be rendered jobless by the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria by this week.

This is no thanks to the current economic challenges, which has impacted negatively on baking industry, skyrocketed the prices of baking ingredients and boxed owners of the business into tight corners.

On three occasions the association had withdrawn services to press home its demands from the Federal Government via the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, but to no avail.

Also, the association slightly adjusted the prices of bread and other related products on two occasions, which affected the sales and consumption of baked foods and plunging owners of the business into bankruptcy.

But, after the enlarged meeting of the association in Asaba, which was largely attended by executives and stakeholders of the association from the South-South and South-East geo political zones of the country, the group resolved to embark on massive retrenchment of workers because their sales have drastically dropped.

The National President of the association, Sir Simeon N. Abanulor, supported by his Secretary, Mr. Mansur Umar and his Publicity Secretary, Mr. Jude Okafor said since nothing has been done by the Federal Government for the survival of the business, members would commence laying off of workers by Monday, October 24, 2016.

He said, “We have resolved to commence laying off of our workers at the rate 10 staff per bakery for small scale bakery, 30 staff for medium scale bakery and 50 for large scale bakery.

“This measure”, he continued, “was taken and agreed upon in the interest of the survival of our business and it will continue as long as the uncontrollable increase in our baking materials, including sugar, which suddenly rose from N7,000 to over N22,000, butter N3,000 to N12,000, yeast N5,500 to N18,000, vegetable oil from N5,000 to N18,000,  Nutmegs N150,000 to N240,000 and flour N5,800 to N12,000, continues, pending when our government decides to address the multi-ferrous problems we are currently facing in our food business”.

According to him, the Federal Government was quick to ignore the interventionist programmes which the immediate past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan initiated.

“We appeal to the Federal Government to provide us with bake-sure improver starter packs to enable us commence the blending of Sorghum-Cassava flour with wheat flour to cut down the cost of production and begin a gradual capacity building plus recruiting of staff”, Abanulor said.

He explained that the Bake-sure improver starter-packs, which would be provided for his members by the Federal Government should be funded by the 15 per cent levy on wheat, which primarily designed to be used for the implementation of Cassava-Inclusion-Policy of the Federal Government.

While the Abanulor appealed to the Federal Government to also interface with those he described as “flour and sugar millers cartels” to scale down their prices, he said the retrenchment of workers in the industry would persist until the prices of baking ingredients stabilised.



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