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Bakers to begin nationwide strike from February 27 over rising production cost

The Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN) has announced that its members will be embarking on a nationwide strike from February 27 over rising production costs.

Kogi State chairman of AMBCN, Chief Adeniyi Bamidele Gabriel, who made the announcement on Tuesday, February 13, said the strike notice was conveyed by the national president of the association, Alhaji Mansur Umar, and the national secretary, Mr Jude Okafor.

Gabriel said the strike decision became necessary because its members are now closing their shops “due to the multifarious increase in the prices of baking materials such as flour, sugar, yeast, vegetable oil, petrol, diesel occasioned by subsidy removal and forex deregulation, multiple taxation via federal government agencies.”

Aside from accusing the federal government of instituting multiple taxation burdens via agencies like NAFDAC, SON, NESREA, Consumer Protection Council, and Department of Weight and Measures, among others, they are also accusing state and local governments of instituting “fees and levies such as emblems, assessment levies, touting, etc. and the general hike on ease of doing business in Nigeria”. They said this has created a harsh business climate for the organisation to operate.

Some of their demands include;

“Liberalisation of flour and sugar importation, reduction or total removal of import duties on major baking materials.

“Provision of concessionary forex exchange to flour millers and other stakeholders, and reduction of tariff on imported wheat and sugar.

“Development of cultivation and processing of wheat and sugar cane in Nigeria, removal of multiple taxation at the federal, state and local government levels.

“Suspension of all forms of taxation on the bakery industry for now at the federal, state and local government levels,

“And set up a price control and monitoring committee as allowed by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and other conditions that will enhance the ease of doing business in the country.”

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