Federal Government’s Plan May Drive Up Cost of Bread and other confectionery

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Who doesn’t love akara squeezed between too lumps or slices of bread, and pressed down into a naturally delectable sandwich? Well, I do!

Bread is a staple food in Nigeria. While the privileged eat high quality bread with cocoa or better beverages, many labourers and factory workers fuel their bodies with low quality ‘agege’ bread with soft drinks. So it was a huge blow to Nigerians when increase in the price of sugar forced bread industries to suspend production for a short while a few years ago. Now, those tough times might be coming back, and in a more full force.

The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the central bank has announced that sugar and wheat may soon be placed in foreign exchange restriction list. In other words, the government plans to ban the importation of wheat and sugar. Wheat and sugar are very vital components of bread, together with other confectionery like buns, chin-chin, meat pies, sausage rolls and many others. So this plan, if it does go through, is going to hit many Nigerians hard below the belt.

Close up sugar cubes and cane in wooden spoon on the table

The plan was disclosed by the Central Bank of Nigeria via its verified Twitter handle in a statement credited to the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele.

The tweet stated: “Sugar and Wheat to go into our FX restriction list. We must work together to produce these items in Nigeria rather than import them. #Emefiele.”

It should be noted that hunger has been reeking havoc on the lives of middle class Nigerians and lower via hunger since the ban on importation of rice. Nigeria has not yet reached the state of feeding itself, that is, producing allot not most of the food consumed by its residents. So the ban on some food items, while it sounds good on paper, translates into causing untold and unnecessary suffering upon Nigerians, in reality.

Maize had been the latest in the ever growing foreign exchange restriction list before now, while wheat and sugar are now in the queue. So possibly in a short while, majority of Nigerians will say bye bye to bread as a consumable affordable to them.

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