Atabor Julius, Lokoja:
The Master Bakers and Caterers Association of Nigeria (MBCAN) Kogi state chapter, has called on President Mu-hammadu Buhari and kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to save it from the multiple taxation and high cost of raw materials used in the production of bread which has become inimical to the survival of the industry.
The Association through a press release signed by its Secretary, Chief Adeniyi Gabriel and made available to Journalists in lokoja over the weekend noted that the economic recession has taken a toll on the fortunes of the industry .
According to the Association, the call for government at all levels for quick intervention had become necessary in view of the role the industry is playing in the creation of employment , fight against crime and criminality and the reduction of hunger among the citizenry.
Gabriel lamented at the astronomical rise in the cost of raw materials and the dwindling sales stressing that if urgent attention is not given to the industry, it might be forced to close shops with its attendant consequences on the people.
He added that multiple taxes from different government agencies have impacted negatively on the members , describ-ing the incidence of taxation as inhuman and anti-progress of the industry.
The Association however appealed to the leadership of the security Agencies to caution their personnel to desist from frequent harassment of her members and the financial extortion and taking of bread from salesmen.
“ We regret for the inability of some of our members who could not defray the five percent Cassava Bread Initiative Loan from the Bank of Industry. We are aware of the hardship that our members are facing which made them unable to repay the loan. It is because cassava flour were no longer supplied to the flour millers as the cassava farmer could not cope with the price from the flour millers.
“ The Association however identified the cost of procurement of diesel as one of the major problems facing the industry which has rendered the equipment donated to the members by the Bank of Industry useless.” The release noted.
It however assured the Bank and the citizenry of its determination and commitment to continue to operate within the law and to ensure that products are available at all times despite these challenges facing the industry.