Exchange rate: Bakers may increase prices of bread

•As car dealers groan

THERE is the possibility of an increase in prices of bread any moment from now as members of the Bakers Association of Nigeria, Oyo State, chapter are set to meet next week following a major increase in prices of production materials.

This was disclosed to Saturday Tribune by a member of the association, Mr Taiwo Samuel Titilola, in an interview.

Titilola revealed that following the likely increase in the price of flour next week, it is almost certain that the bakers meet to review the prices of bread.

He further added that the recent upsurge in the exchange rate which now stands at one dollar to N330 is killing their business.

He also noted that since exchange rate has been fluctuating in recent times, bread production has almost  been unprofitable to bakers. He revealed that since the last outrage over expensive materials, only bakers in Oyo state have not increased the prices of bread, but stated that the review is inevitable now.

According to Titilola, “As we learnt, the prices of flour which we buy now at N9,500 per bag will be increased by August 1. With that, it is clear now that we can’t do without increasing the prices of bread now.

“As I am talking to you, it is only bakers in Oyo state that have not increased prices of bread. All our colleagues have complied, so with the latest clue that the price of flour will soon go up, we’re meeting next Thursday at our headquarters in Ibadan to take a decision on that.

“Our people have been agitating for increase, the national body met last Friday and took a decision. We may have to do so, the unstable exchange rate is killing, but we can’t do that in isolation. Just wait for the outcome of our meeting on Thursday for final decision,” Titilola noted.

Meanwhile, car dealers are also groaning over the fluctuating exchange rate.

Saturday Tribune’s investigation shows that the sharp rise became noticeable about three months ago and could not be unconnected to the exchange rate of the dollar which was hitherto N145 to a dollar but now exchanges for N373 to a dollar indicating 100 per cent increase.

A car dealer, Alhaji Afeez Ajani, told our correspondent that the rise in the exchange rate has really affected the purchasing power of motor vehicle dealers.

“We usually liaise with the bureau de change operators to know the actual price of the dollar before we travel. But most times, the dollar usually increases even while we are in transit which makes us to borrow and spend more than we budget for.”