Faction backs out as bakers begin strike today

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A group of bakers in the country, on Monday, kicked against the nationwide strike declared by some of their counterparts, starting on Tuesday (today).

The Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria announced on February 14 that it is poised to begin a nationwide strike on February 27 unless the Federal Government honours the agreement made with the association in 2020.

It also called for the temporary suspension of all types of taxation on the bakery industry at the federal, state, and local government levels.

In a statement announcing the strike, the National President of AMBCON, Mansur Umar, said, “The Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria have critically accessed the state of our business operation, consequently demand the liberalisation of flour and sugar importation, reduction or total removal of import duties on major baking materials such as flour, sugar, butter, yeast, etc as applicable to other commodities as have recently been done by the Federal Government and provision of concessionary forex exchange to flour millers and other stakeholders as well as reduction of tariff on imported wheat and sugar.”

The association also called for the setting up of a price control and monitoring committee as allowed by the constitution as amended and other conditions that will enhance the ease of doing business in the country.

However, in a statement on Monday, some bakers under the umbrella of Supreme Bakers and Confectioners Association of Nigeria said embarking on strike at a time Nigerians are going through a lot is uncalled for and could exacerbate the situation.

The association’s acting National President, Edmund Egbuji, urged all members of the group not to participate in the strike.

The statement read, “The BOT chairman and the entire members of the board of trustees in conjunction with the national exco of Supreme Bakers and Confectioners Association of Nigeria wish to bring to the notice of the general public that Supreme Bakers Association will not embark on a nationwide withdrawal of services (strike) proposed by some bankers association in the country.

“Supreme bakers deem it as unpatriotic at this time of food insecurity and scarcity in the country. Going on strike will never be an option, rather the government through its relevant ministries should call for a roundtable discussion to cushion the effects of the food scarcity plight.

“All members of the supreme bakers are hereby directed to go about the business of feeding the nation as any contrary action will add to the pains of the overstretched citizens.”