Home News Bread makers storm Lagos Assembly over harsh policies

Bread makers storm Lagos Assembly over harsh policies

On Thursday, members of the Premium Bread-Makers Association of Nigeria, staged a peaceful protest at the Lagos State House of Assembly to express their grievances over harsh government policies which are affecting their businesses negatively.

The bread producers marched through the streets of Alausa, Ikeja to the Lagos State House of Assembly Complex, holding placards that stated their various challenges.

Onuora Emmanuel, President of the association, informed the press that they had written a letter to the Office of the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, expressing the challenges its members are facing due to the poor policies made by his administration.

The association, he said, had to go to the assembly because the state government had refused to address the challenges facing bread makers in the state.

“We are staging a peaceful protest at the Lagos State House of Assembly to complain to the state government how uneasy it is to do business in Lagos State. We issued a press release about two weeks ago. We wrote to the state governor, but nobody has answered us. So we are taking our complaints to the representative of the people, that is the state House of Assembly,” Onuora said.

“We are not saying we will not pay the rates, but we want a single regulator in Lagos State, we want to know where we belong to in the state. We can’t be doing business and be putting money into the coffers of the state government while our members are suffering. Our demand is for the state government to tell us how many agencies we need to deal with. We want a single agency to regulate us as it is done elsewhere.”

In a letter titled, “Unbearable intimidation, harassment by state agencies and the challenges of doing business in Lagos State: Save our businesses,” and addressed to the Speaker of the House, Hon Mudashiru Obasa, the bread makers appealed to the state parliament to “save our businesses from collapse and prevent over one million people in Lagos State under our employment from becoming jobless and being pushed back into the already saturated unemployment market.”

Bread factories are faced with multiple challenges threatening their survival, including the oversight and monitoring of their businesses by numerous state ministries, agencies, and parastatals.

Furthermore, state agencies and miscreants have intimidated and harassed delivery van drivers, undue checks and monitoring have obscured the essence of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control; and hostile treatment from the Nigeria Police Force has also occurred.

Their argument was that the hostile production environment had reduced operational capacity below 50 percent and that staff retention as well as employment of more staff were now being challenged by the state’s PAYE tax.

“The implication is that job losses to the tune of 500,000 persons are imminent if this negative trend is not reversed,” the association added.

Hon Tobun Abiodun, a member Representing the Epe Constituency 1 at the state House of Assembly and Chairman, House Committee on Works and Infrastructure, alongside his colleague, Hon Akande Victor, the Chairman, House Committee on Petitions, addressed the protesters.

Both lawmakers promised the bread makers that the House would critically examine the issues they have raised with the aim to reach an amicable resolution.

Hon. Abiodun appealed that “in the meantime, we want to appeal to you not to increase the price of bread, you have been doing what is expected of you, and you have done what is right. You have exploited so many avenues. Now you’ve come to the house of the people, don’t worry, we will work on it.

“We will ask them what the problem looks like and we will look into it objectively and will come out with a permanent and lasting solution. Since you have confidence in the Speaker and the parliament, we will never let you down.”

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