Bakers in Lagos State, under the aegis of the Premium Breadmakers Association of Nigeria (PBAN), have stated their plan to embark on a peaceful protest over “persistent exploitation” by officials of the state government.
The association made the announcement via statement signed by the association’s president, Emmanuel Onuorah, and the the Public & Industrial Relations Officer (PIRO), Babalola Thomas, on Sunday.
The association disclosed that the protest will hold at the state house of assembly and the office of the Governor of the State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in Alausa “soon”.
The association stated that the planned protest became necessary as running a bakery within Lagos state had become almost impossible.
It bemoaned the countless challenges the bread industry encounters in Nigeria is amplified in Lagos state, with different ministries and agencies taking undue exploitative and inhumane advantage of bakeries.
“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,” the statement reads.
“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.”
PMAN 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.”
“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,” the statement adds.
“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.