By Sodiq Lawal
Scores of residents in Osun State have expressed concern over hike in the prices of bread. A market survey conducted by our correspondent revealed that the small size of loaf of bread is now N150, as against its previous price of N100. The prime loaf of bread is now N300 against its old price of N250, while a premium size loaf is now N250 as against N200. Some of the residents of Osogbo, the capital city of Osun State and Ile-Ife, who spoke on the latest prices of bread, which has become one of essential household fast food commodities, expressed displeased over the issue.
A cross-section of residents told FarmingFarmersFarms that bread is no longer for the common man, adding that the item is now beyond the reach of the ordinary man in view of its high cost. A resident from Osogbo, Mrs. Seun Oladimeji said that she is not happy with an increase in the price of bread. “My family loves eating bread, I am married with two children and they cannot do without eating a bread in a month because of the increase in the price of bread, my children do not eat bread to their satisfaction. Last week, I bought bread N200 for myself, but now it is N250”, she said. Taiwo said that aside from the price increase, the size has reduced, the quality and taste.
One of the residents, Adamu Attah said eating bread as a family man is no longer economical, urging the government at all levels to look into the plight of the common man, adding that “For a family of six like me, I would spend nothing less than N1,000 to take care of our breakfast, because we have to buy two loaves of bread at N600 with other items like sugar, milo, milk, and egg at N400”. He said the trend had caused large dents in his pocket, while he further explained that the government should come to the aid of the people as the price of every consumable goods was going up. “This is unlike in the past when bread worth of N300 can meet the needs of a family”, Attah said. A bread seller, Halimat Nasirudeen, disclosed that an increase in the prices of a loaf of bread had affected patronage. A bakery manager, who pleaded anonymity, attributed the hike in bread prices to the high cost of flour and other ingredients.
In his reaction, Ademola Adeagbo, a baker at Mayfair in Ile-Ife, linked the recent increment of loaf of bread to high cost of needed materials for bakery production. He said, “The price of sugar that we used to buy at the range of N18,500 to N19,000, is now N35,000 while the price of flour that we used to buy at a rate of N15,000 is now N31,000 plus. We also used one ingredient called EDC; it is used to enhance the quality and texture of the bread; it is like a softener and we used to buy it at the rate of N7,500 to N9,000 per liter, but is currently selling at the rate of N27,000. We also make use of butter; a cartoon of it now is N14,000 and we used to buy it then at the rate of between N8,500 and N9,000”.
“Government should assist us in subsidising the prices of all the essential materials needed for production. We also understand that bread is a household food. We didn’t just wake up and add to the suffering of the masses. These people are our customers. They are our relatives too, but there is nothing we can do. We also set up the business for profit purposes and this is the job we are also doing just to take care of ourselves and our families too. Before we came up with these present prices, we embarked on warning strike. We did that to send signal to both the government and our customers to let them understand what we are passing through, and the government did nothing about it. But, we appreciate our customers for their understanding over the whole issue. This is beyond our power, it is not our fault”, he added.