In reaction to what they described as “persistent exploitation” by officials of the state government, bakers in Lagos have resolved to embark on a peaceful protest.
Acting under the aegis of the Premium Breadmakers Association of Nigeria (PBAN), they announced this in a statement signed by Emmanuel Onuorah, its president and Babalola Thomas, public and industrial relations officer (PIRO), on Sunday.
PBAN said the protest would take place at the State House of Assembly and the office of Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, in Alausa “soon”.
The association noted that the planned protest became necessary as operating a bakery within Lagos State had become nearly impossible.
The baker’s lamented that the myriad of challenges the bread industry suffers in Nigeria is amplified in Lagos state, with various ministries and agencies taking undue exploitative and inhumane advantage of bakeries.
Read the statement: “Multi-agency regulation is now an albatross to our businesses in Lagos State as Ministry of The Environment, LASEPA, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transport (State Carriage), Lagos State Safety Commission (LSC), daily toll in streets and major roads by LGAs/LCDAs thugs, LGA Environment department, VIO, LASTMA etc are what we contend with daily in Lagos with their negative impact on our member bakeries.
“On a daily basis, different agencies barge into our bakeries to intimidate, harass and extort money from our members unduly in the guise of revenue collection for the LASG.
“Notices are not given to us before they force their way into our bakeries to cause mayhem and unleash terror on our workers and distributors alike.
“The Nigerian economy is bad enough for doing business, the state government should desist from making it worse for business operators in the state like bakers.
“Bread is a staple food and one of the cheapest ‘grab and go’ food that is available for both the poor and rich. It, therefore, behooves on the government and key agencies to be mindful of this”.
PBAN said that its efforts to reach the government over the alleged exploitation by various ministries and agencies in the state on its members’ bakeries in Lagos have been met with “deafening silence”.
Said the baker’s: “Our best attempts to meet with Mr. Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on this matter has met a brickwall. We have explored all channels available to us, written, emailed and visited to no effect whatsoever.
“Therefore, a peaceful protest is the only way we believe we can use to get the lawmakers in the state and Mr. Governor to listen to us and help us in our quest to continually provide viable employment to the thousands of Lagosians that work with us”.
PBAN comprises owners, managing directors and partners of premium bakeries in Nigeria.
Beats on it