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Bread bakers decry increasing cost of flour, seek government’s intervention

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Nasiru Yusuf

Bread bakers in Kano state, under the auspices of Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria, Kano chapter said that the increase in the price of flour has left them with no option than to increase the price of bread for their business to survive in the state. 

KANO FOCUS reports that the Secretary of the association, Kabiru Hassan-Abdullahi revealed this on Friday, while briefing journalists.

He said the decision was due to increase in the price of flour and other ingredients used in making the bread.

According to him, the association could have take both decision to shutdown business and subsequently increase the price, but in order not to render thousands of youths jobless which could be a threat to peaceful coexistence of the state, they decided to increase the price in the near future.

Hassan Abdullahi blamed the federal government for its failure to respond to their appeals to bring lasting solution to the challenge.

He said the association provides jobs to thousands of youths in the state and contributes tremendously to food security, but there are problems that pose danger to the business but the government has not done anything to save it.

The Secretary pointed out that after painstaking efforts to continue with the business without increasing the price of bread, despite the hike in the price of flour, the market forces have compelled the association to take the decision, otherwise its members would always be at a loss.

He disclosed that the association had tried several time to meet with the management of the flour companies in a bid to bring down the price, but their efforts were unsuccessful as the mills cited COVID-19 as the reason why the meeting could not hold.

The Secretary wondered why the price of flour was N9, 000 from late 2019 and early 2020 when the dollar exchange rate was N400 or above, but it has now reached over N16,000 while the dollar rate is still not more than N500.

He said IRS flour, made by BUA, which had been scarced at market, is the most expensive product among other brands.

While calling on Abdulsamad Isyaku Rabiu, the Chairman of BUA Group of Companies to reduce the price of his flour product, the Secretary also called on him to improve the supply of his product in order to be available at market.

He said ” I have many appeals to Abdulsamad. First, he should improve his production in order to make his product available in the markets.

“Secondly, i call on Abdussamad to ensure that the price of flour is reduced. The issue of flour price increase goes hand in hand with exchange rate. The price of flour was N9, 000 from late 2019 and early 2020 when the dollar exchange rate was N400 or above, but it has now reached over N16,000 while the dollar rate is still not more than N500. If you look at the increment, it is about 50 percent.

” I want to draw the attention of Abdussamad to consider the plight of the masses and reduce the price of the flour. He should also open door for us, the bread bakers to be doing business directly with his company.

“The reason why i said this, I have been in this business for many years, but I have never seen a Product Support or sells representative from BUA in my bakery. No sells representative ever came to sensitize me on BUA products or show me the easier ways to her the BUA products,” the Secretary complained.

The Secretary however disclosed that after holding a general meeting on Wednesday, the association had directed its members to meet with the grassroot bakers in ten days time in a bid to come up with a unified price increment that would not have negative impact on the populace in the state.

“After our general meeting, we directed our members to intimate the grassroot bread bakers in a bid to come up with a unified price increment that would not affect the masses negatively. We asked the members not to shutdown their businesses, they should continue production until 10th of July,” he said.

Abdullahi appealed to the government to look into the flour milling industry because, according to him, Nigeria exports wheat more than rice, noting that the employment opportunity created in the sector is much just higher.

He cautioned the government not to allow the business to collapse as it is a source of income to thousands of youths in the state, saying “in this security challenges, allowing our business to collapse is dangerous.”

In his part, a baker, Abubakar Bello Ja’en, who is the manager of ABJ Bread said the business is encountering a number of problems, majorly the increase in the price of flour.

He disclosed that the association had informed them that there would be no strike, but they must increase the price of the bread in order to save their businesses.

He said the decision to increase the price is not the preferred choice of the association, adding that the bakers wanted the price of flour to reduce than to increase the price of bread.

He revealed that his bakery and others are using IRS of BUA company more than other products, saying “but it is the most expensive. It has now reached up to N16, 700.”

“Let me use this opportunity to call of Abdussamad to consider the plight of people to reverse the price of the flour. People are suffering. We don’t want to increase the price of the bread. It’s against our wish,” he said.

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Kano closes hospital where a doctor performs multiple surgery alone

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Kano State Private Health Institutions Management Agency (PHIMA) has shut down Green-olives Hospital, Gadon kaya, Gwale local government area.

KANO FOCUS reports that the hospital was indicted for professional misconduct and poor service.

A statement issued by the spokesperson of the agency Abba Dalha said the agency has received a petition that the facility has recorded two death cases in the last six months.

After thorough investigation, the agency found that, the hospital do not undertake proper investigation nor issue consent form to patients before conducting a surgery.

According to the statement the surgeon is found to be to be doing the task of anaesthetic nurse, peri operative nurse and assistant surgeon which is grossly unethical.

The statement added that the surgeon is not inclined to any speciality of surgery as one of the recorded death case was a Paediatric surgery to three year old child, while the second death was Obstetrics and gynecology surgery.

The Agency threatened to deal with the culprit in accordance with it’s   guidelines and appealed to people to report quacks and professional misconduct for appropriate action.

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Ganduje seeks Assembly’s approval to borrow N20bn

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Nasiru Yusuf

The governor of Kano state Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has sent a letter to House of assembly seeking for approval to access 18.7 billion loan from the federal government to cushion the effects of COVID-19.

KANO FOCUS reports that the speaker of the assembly, Hamisu Ibrahim Chidari read the letter on the floor of the house.

According to the letter, the state government is seeking the approval of the house to enable it access the funds which many states have been granted access to by their state house of assemblies.

He said,the federal government had approved the disbursement of over 18 billion Naira to all the 36 states as bail out funds.

The governor has also sent another letter to the House seeking for approval to secure a loan of over two billion naira for the procurement of 100 BRT buses.

The letter pointed out that earlier the Kano state government had paid five hundred million naira as deposit and wish to secure a loan for the completion of payment to expedite the delivery of the vehicles which will go a long way in curtailing transportation problems in the state.

After extensive and exhaustive deliberations, the house has granted the approval.

In a related development the house had received a letter from the office of the secretary to the state government, notifying the house of the swearing in of the chairman and members of the assembly service commission and the reappointment and elevation of the clerk and deputy clerk to the post of head of legislative services and permanent secretary respectively as well as other directors at the Kano state house of assembly.

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Revenue sharing formula: Kano demands 1% allocation, increase for states and LGAs

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Nasiru Yusuf

Kano State government has demanded a one per cent special status in the Federal revenue  allocation formula.

KANO FOCUS reports that the demand was made in a memorandum presented by the Secretary to the  State Government and head of Kano state delegation, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, (Wazirin Gaya), during the North West Zonal Public Hearing on the review of the current vertical revenue allocation formula organized by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission in Kaduna on Monday.

Alhaji Alhaji noted that the demand is genuine, justifiable and in no way controversial considering the enormous responsibilities the state is currently shouldering due to high influx of people displaced or affected by insecurity in neighboring states including Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto and others.

He also highlighted the status of the state as the most populous in the country, its cosmopolitan and heterogeneous nature as “mini Nigeria”, as well as being the commercial hub for the north that attracts and accommodates people from all parts of the country and beyond, as other reasons for the demand.

The Secretary to the State Government therefore urged the federal government to positively consider the special status demand so as to support the development of Kano particularly in the areas of agriculture, trade and commerce and manufacturing as “it will translate into rapid development for the country generally.

“Our reasons are for the development of Nigeria as a whole”. He added.

The SSG further noted that the current revenue sharing formula is skewed largely in favour of the federal government to the detriment of states and local governments as the federating units, which he described as uneven, unfair and unjust.

He noted that the decision of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to review the current revenue sharing formula, in line with its statutory constitutional responsibilities,  is commendable as it is long overdue in view of the changing political, economic, social and ecological realities in the country.

Alhaji Usman Alhaji further noted that despite taking the lion’s share, the federal government could not effectively and adequately discharge most of its responsibilities in states, like ensuring security and provision of healthcare services which, he said, were left for the states to take care of.

” The insecurity and violence in the North can be link to the uneven distribution of the national wealth. …Some have too little while others have too much to spend. As federating units, no one should be left in dare need “, he added.

While noting that states spend more than the federal government on healthcare and other services in addition to huge expenditure for the police and DSS, he suggested that states should have larger share in the revenue allocation formula.

The SSG therefore, on behalf of Kano State Government, proposed a new sharing formula of 41 percent for Federal Government, 34 percent for states and 24 percent for local governments while the 13 percent derivation should be maintained.

The Kano State delegation to the North West Zonal public hearing comprise commissioners, Special Advisers, top civil servants, traditional leaders, representatives of CSOs, NGOs and students organizations.

Other states that presented memoranda at the occasion include Jigawa, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara.

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