BusinessDay

Over 40 bakeries shut down in FCT over high production cost

At least 40 bakeries have closed shop in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), due to the high cost of production, multiple taxation, and the hike in electricity tariffs, among others.

Some of the affected bakeries are Abumme bakery Ltd. Lugbe, Airports road, Hamdala Bakery, Kuje, Harmony Bite Bakery, Karu, Doweey Delight Bakery Ltd, Kubwa.

Others include Merit Baker, Mpape, Funez Baker, Orozo, Slyz Bakery, Wuse Zone 2, among others.

Ishaq Abdulraheem, the chairman, Abuja Master Bakers, FCT said it was becoming increasingly disturbing that bakeries in Abuja could no longer cope with the high cost of production. He said most members had lost their means of livelihood, while workers had been out of job due to the shutdown.

He called on the Federal Government to quickly intervene and check agencies of government frustrating bakery business.

He listed some of the agencies to include the National Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), National Environmental Standards and Regulations, Enforcement Agency (NESREA).

He said that the six area councils in the FCT have also made business unpleasant and difficult for bakeries with huge taxes and tenement rates.

An Abuja baker, Nuhu Musa of Hamdala Bakery, Kuje, FCT appealed to the government to regulate the activities of these agencies to reduce the different taxes they imposed on bakers. Musa said many bakeries were struggling to survive due to high production costs.

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“We want the government to regulate these agencies so that our production process will be easy. These taxes and levies are negatively impacting our business to the extent that many of us have closed down.

It is also affecting employment as many bakery workers are out of work presently and you know the effect of that on the society; some will turn to criminality,’’ he said.

Musa noted that for instance, officials of NAFDAC come to their bakeries to check for certificates, while officials of SON come for the registration of the product.

“How much are we making to warrant all these checks and payments?,” he queried.

Some Abuja residents, who reacted to the development, decried the high cost of bread in the market, stressing that bread was gradually becoming the food for the rich.

Julius Anthony, a resident said the bread he used to buy for N500 per loaf now goes for as much as N1,000.

Aisha Danjuma, another resident of FCT called on the government to immediately intervene over the high cost of bread, adding “bread is the food for the masses and must not be taken away from them.’’

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