No fewer than four million workers may go, if the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMCON) carry out its retrenchment threat because of what it calls unfavourable business climate. The group National Publicity Secretary, Jude Okafor said at a forum in Asaba, the Delta State capital that members have resolved to lay off no fewer than 10 workers per bakery unless the government meets their demands.
Citing the astronomical increase in the cost of flour, sugar, yeast and other materials, Okafor said the members have no choice but to lay off workers as it is the only way they can stay in business. He explained that bag of flour which before now costs N5,800 has shot up to N12,000 while sugar is now N22,000 instead of the erstwhile price of N7,000 and yeast presently goes for N18,000 as against N5,500 and vegetable oil is now N18,000 as against N5,000.
He said appeals to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to intervene met a brickwall, noting that in frustration, the association ordered its members to withdraw their services with the hope that the government would intervene. Okafor said: The 450, 000 strong members have resolved to lay off workers at the rate of ten staff per bakery for some small bakeries, thirty staff for medium scale bakeries and fifty workers per bakery for large scale bakeries.