Bakers under the aegis of the Premium Bread-Makers Association of Nigeria have said a harsh business environment triggered by rising energy costs and increasing forex rates has caused some of its members across the country to shut down their business operations.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH, PBAN President, Emmanuel Onuorah, described the present situation as worrisome and imminently crippling for operators in the bread-making businesses segment.
He expressed concerns over what he called the lacklustre attitude of the government towards addressing the harsh operating environment faced by businesses.
He said, “Companies are shutting down their businesses as a result of the increase in the price of diesel. Some of my members shut down (their business premises) again this week. So many other companies are closing down.
“As we speak, operators in the sachet water business segment are on strike. They’ll likely increase the price of sachet water to N25 or N30. We don’t even know where this thing is tending towards. Bigger companies are closing because of operating costs. Businesses are going under.”
According to Onuorah, wheat suppliers have suggested a possible scarcity of the product within the next two weeks, indicating that the price of bread may go up significantly.
“Hospitals now have to ration diesel. Energy is the key. We understand that in two weeks’ time, there will be a scarcity of wheat and the millers will raise their prices to N30,000 or N40,000,” he added.
On the recent scarcity of the dollar at the parallel market, Onuorah decried the rate at which the naira has continued to depreciate.