From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria has expressed dismay over daily soaring price of production materials which is fast affecting the bakery industry and sending many of their members off business. The National President of the Association, Sir Dominic Turi stated this in his speech at the 3rd National Bakers Trust Media Merit Award held in Kaduna yesterday.
According to him, the bakery industry which hitherto is the second employers of labour after Government with over 450,000 thousands bakery across the country and each employing more than 20 staff. Sir Turi added that this development is saddening to the bakery industry because the national secretariat on daily basis received reports of bakery closing down, and those still in production are producing below expected capacity.
He, however, appealed to members to embrace peace and unity within the association in order to tackle this problem; saying peace is pinnacle for development.
“I therefore urge all to trade the path of peace and unity. Let remind our northern brothers in the industry to work together to build a strong body for the association that is formidable in the region. “The challenges being faced by our members all over the country have not gone unnoticed and we are daily pushing our demands before the government.
“Let me assure all of us that the leadership of the association has concluded plans to embark on international tour of major power generating company which we expected to come and partner the association on power to run bakeries in the country to reduce the cost of energy in the industry,” he disclosed.
In his remarks, the Publisher of National Bakers Trust Magazine, Prince Ayodele Arokoyo said the bakery industry is in turbulence state in Nigeria because the challenges facing the industry are stiffed. He called on stakeholders to support the sector and sister companies which have been there for bakers over the years.
Speaking earlier, the guest lecturer at the occasion, Alhaji Suleiman Bakare, said before the coming of the present administration, there were efforts towards the introduction of at least 20 per cent cassava in bread although a lot of people were skeptical about the success of the initiative bearing in mind that cassava has high sugar content and its implication on the growing diabetic population in Nigeria.
Responding, wife of Kaduna State Governor, Hajiya Hadiza El-Rufai promised to work with National Bakers Trust Media to move the bakery industry in Kaduna to the next level.