Monday, September 27, 2021

Kano ‘Gurasa’ bakers threaten strike over hike in flour prices

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…accuse IRS, BUA of insensitivity

The Gurasa Bakers Association in Kano State has threatened to embark on an indefinite strike over an increase in the prices of flour and other commodities in the state.

DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the threat is coming barely one week after the association called off a three-day warning strike over the same grouse.

Gurasa is local bread made from flour serving as one of the traditional delicacies in Hausa society.

Speaking with our correspondent on Wednesday in Kano, the chairperson of the association, Fatima Auwalu, said Gurasa bakers in the state are counting losses due to the recurring increase in the price of the commodity.

Mrs Auwalu lamented that flour manufacturers like IRS, BUA, Super and Golden Confectionery have failed in their promise to bring down the price of the commodity.

According to her, a few months ago, a bag of flour was sold at N9,500 but has now reached N16,200.

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The chairperson, therefore, called on milling companies to rescind their decision, saying if the prices are not reduced, they would have no option other than to shut down their businesses.

Mrs Auwalu disclosed that the association had called off its warning strike following the intervention of the Kano State Commissioner of Police and other agencies.

She, however, said after calling off the warning strike, “we thought the price would reduce, but to our dismay, the price is rather going up day by day.

“The three-day strike had inflicted hardship on us and our customers, but we could not do anything to resolve this problem but to take industrial action in order to draw the attention of the authorities concerned to bring a lasting solution to the problem.”

“We normally use IRS flour, BUA, Golden Confectionery and Super Flour. These are the only three brands that we use.

“But we’re in a difficult situation because our business has become the shadow of its former self due to the hike in the price of the flour.

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“Let me use this opportunity to call on Abdussamad Isyaku Rabiu and other stakeholders to quickly reverse the price of flour or shut down our businesses.

“If we shut it down, it will not affect us alone, it will also affect many people in this state and the North as a whole,” she warned.

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Another Gurasa baker, Usaina Adamu, said the bakers had decided to go on the strike in order to bring the attention of the stakeholders to control the price of the flour, noting that their action did not change the situation.

“We called on the stakeholders to do the needful in a bid to control the situation but it is rather deteriorating.

“We, therefore, call on Abdussamad, IRS and other companies too as a matter of urgency reverse the price of flour to N9,000 or we go on indefinite strike.

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“They should know that thousands of people have relied on this business. If we shut it down, a lot will suffer,” she warned.

On his part, Umar Badamasi, who is the vice-chairman of the association, expressed surprise at how the price of flour was rising by the day.

Checks by DAILY NIGERIAN revealed that the flour companies have increased the price of the commodities by 56 percent within a period of one year, a situation that caused an outcry among many Nigerians.

Efforts to reach BUA Flour Company in Kano proved unsuccessful, but a major dealer of the product in the state, Muhammadu Danadakawa, backed the decision of the bakers.

Mr Danadakawa said the bakers’ action would call the attention of the government to intervene in a bid to reverse the price.

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“Let them go on strike so that the state and federal governments will know about the situation and intervene,” he said.

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