Hike in Bread Price: FCT Residents Groan, Resort to Cabin Biscuits

Nelson Uguwagbo, Abuja

Bread, commonly found in almost every Nigerian home as not just breakfast but at times an alternative is no longer available due to the recent rise in prices of flour.

The hike in the price of bread is affecting everyone from families and young school children who depend on bread as their breakfast, to site workers or office who normally take bread and canned drinks during their break.

It is also affecting the individuals whose main business is the sale and supply of bread. What use is a product that many cannot buy.

LEADINGREPORTERS discussed with various sellers and consumers of bread to hear their own experience and how the increased price of bread is affecting them.

Mama David, a popular retailer in Dape, Abuja told me to look into her store and check if I would see any bread on display. When I checked, there was none, so I asked what the reason was.

She said: “When I went to the Market to buy bread from the person that I normally buy from, they said bread is not available as the price to make bread has increased drastically and only few bakers are able to keep up.

“When I went to another shop, the price they called was way above my budget so I couldn’t purchase it. Even if I had bought it, I know my customers won’t be able to buy it due to the price increase.”

Emmanuel Dauda who is a teacher in Dape said “The price of bread has increased beyond my purchasing power. Right now, you can’t even find bread been sold for 50 Naira. Even the one been sold for 100 naira is paper weight that would not do anything to quench your hunger, so it was better you just saved your money”.

As for Sliced bread, that one should be left for the wealthy as any slice bread you touch now with even little quality, goes for nothing less than 900 naira.

When we asked if he had found any other alternatives to bread, he said:

“No food can really replace the range that bread has, however, now I mostly use cabin to take tea or just eat if I’m very hungry.

Another Seller, Francis Okeke, said due to high cost of bread, bread he purchases now stays in his shop for up to 3 days before he sells everything off.

” Previously, anytime he brings bread, his customers buy it before the end of the day with him not been able to meet the demand.

However, now his bread takes days before they are sold off and he is even considering to stop buying bread.

The reasons for the increase in the price of bread are enormous. A range of factors both locally and internationally have contributed to the increase in the price of bread.

The number one reason is the war in Ukraine. On 24th February, Russia invaded Ukraine, hence a war that lasts till this day ensued. Ukraine is the 5th largest exporter of wheat in the world and major supplier to most African countries including Nigeria. Wheat is used to make flour which is an essential ingredient for bread.

Russia has blocked the ability of Ukraine to export wheat to any country leading to increase in the price of wheat and flour in most globally, Nigeria included. This increase has contributed to a hike in any product made with flour of which bread is chief.

This is expected to continue till whenever the war between Russia and Ukraine comes to an end
another cause for the increase in price of bread is general inflation in the nation.

As at June, the inflation rate of Nigeria stood at 18.6%, the highest since 2017. Also, the naira has been on a free fall against the dollar and as at today, one dollar sells for above 700 naira.

This inflation has led to the increase in cost of so many products, bread not been an exception.

Finally, the most worrying reason for the rise in the increase of bread is a series of quarrels between the trio of bakers’ association, flour millers association and the federal government. Members of the bakers association went on strike to protest the constant hike in the price of Sugar and Flour by the trio of Flour mills, Bua group and Dangote group.

The National Leader of Progressive Bakers Association of Nigeria (PBAN), Prince Jacob Adejonrin, has urged the Federal Government to call the country’s millers to order as he accused them of being responsible for the incessant increment in the price of bread.

He Said: “When we complain to the millers, mainly Flour Mills of Nigeria and Olam about the incessant increase in the price of flour, they tell us it’s the price of wheat. Does the price of wheat increase every day? They are just frustrating us. The price of 50kg bag of wheat is now N30,000. In the last one month, they have increased the price of flour three times. We are expecting another price increase soon.”

Adejonrin who accused Olam of being the major culprit in the price increase saga, said, “Olams is the problem of bakers now because they are always the first to increase price anyhow and other millers will follow.

Nigeria is not the only country importing wheat from Ukraine yet the price of flour is not increasing in those other countries like ours.”

The bakers have returned to work but have pushed the burden to the customers to bear.

Many people have started to find alternatives to bread since they can no longer purchase it. Many now use Cabin Biscuit as a substitute for bread, for drinking tea or with other combinations. For now, the price of Cabin Biscuit stands at 400 naira today. We hope that doesn’t increase too.

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