From Abdullahi Jalaluddeen, Kano
Barely one week after they called of a three-day warning strike, Gurasa Bakers Association of Kano state has threatened to embark on indefinite strike if IRS, BUA, Super and Golden Confectionery fail to reverse the price of flour.
Gurasa is a Kano indigenous local bread made up of flour that serves as one of delicacies used by Hausa people in the state.
The association, through its Chairperson, Fatima Auwalu, said nothing has changed since they called off the warning strike, prompting them to embark on indefinite industrial action until authorities and stakeholders do the needful.
She said all Gurasa bakers in the state are counting losses due to the recurring increase in the price of flour, which is the major ingredient for making of one of the local staple foods.
The Chairperson pointed out that not long ago, the price of flour was N9,500 but now it has reached N16,200, calling on the companies to reverse the price to N9,000 or shutdown the business.
Fatima Auwalu Maitained that a part from the increase in the price of flour, the quality of the product has been reduced, saying, “this has negatively impacted our business.”
“Since 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 lasting solution to the problem.
Mrs Auwalu disclosed that the association had decided to call off the strike because of the intervention of the Kano state Commissioner of Police and other agencies.
“We normally use IRS flour, BUA, Golden Confectionery and Super Flour. These are the only three brands that we used always. But we’re in a difficult situation because our business has become the shadow of its former self due to the hike on the price of the flour.
” Let me use this opportunity to call on Abdussamad Isyaku Rabiu and other stakeholders to quickly reverse the price of flour or we shut our business down. If we shut it down, it will not affect us alone, it will affect many people in this state and the North as a whole,” she warned.
Another Gurasa baker, Usaina Adamu said they had been forced to embark on the indefinite strike due to the fact that their warning action did not yield desired results.
According to her, 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 but 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 to as a matter of urgency reverse the price of flour to N9000 or we go on indefinite strike. They should know that thousands 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 Gurasa Sellers Association, expressed surprise on how the price of flour is raising day in day out.
” We call on stakeholders, the Manufacturers such as BUA, IRS, Super and other manufacturers to investigate this matter and provide solution. They should also warn those dealers who we suspect are increasing the price whole they get the commodity at cheaper rare from the manufacturers. If this is not done, we have no choice than to shut down the business,” he threatened.
“This is the product that we bought N12, 000 per bag recently, it increased to N13, 000, N14000 up to over N16, 000. This is sad. Our business is being negatively affected. Something has to be done,” he pleaded.
Checks have revealed that the flour companies have increased the price of the commodity by 56 percent within the period of one year, situation that resulted to uproar in the country.
Efforts to reach BUA company in Kano proved unsuccessful, but a major dealer of the product in the state, Alhaji Muhammadu Danadakawa said the bakers should go for the strike in order to draw the attention of the state and federal government into the matter.