Members of the Bakers and Confectioners Association of Nigeria, BCAN, have lamented the burden associated with over dependent on importations of baking equipment, materials and other products related to small and medium enterprises, saying that such dependency may not allow businesses to experience boom in the country.
This is just as the association has identified lack of funds as a major challenge confronting business growth in the country, calling on the government and relevant authorities to provide financial aids to entrepreneurs in the baking and confectionery industry in order to grow their businesses.
The association, also identified as Bakers’ House, noted that with dependence on importations of baking equipment and materials, more funds are required for purchase of these tools, and therefore solicit for soft loans with “very low interest” to enable upcoming bakers for quick start up.
The Bakers’ House stated this at an event held in Lagos to mark its achievements in year 2019.
While speaking to journalists, the president and founder, Engr Judith Ozumba, lamented that shortage of funds was a major challenge to growing of businesses.
Ozumba, who hinted that the association was founded in order to help bakers and their businesses grow, noted that inadequate funds have prevented many of its members from acquiring the requisite baking materials, thus limiting their business expansion.
She said, “One of our major challenges as bakers is lack of money to grow our businesses. We are using this medium to call on the government and financial institutions to assist us with soft loans with little interest.
“Some of our members still mix manually, because they can’t afford mixer of about N20,000. So if the government can help us with loans, the association can stand for any of our members who collect these loans and ensure that they can be paying back little by little, to acquire these things needed such as mixer, oven and so on.
“We also want the government create enabling environment for encourage production of locally-made baking equipment and materials. We don’t have any company making bakers tools in Nigeria and this is not good enough. And it is not that we can’t do it, but lack of funds has been our challenge. It might interest you to know that the amount we spend on importing these tools and equipment run into billions of naira. And we have in Nigeria rubber, which is a major raw material for these baking equipment. So we will be saving a lot of monies if government can help aid production of these materials in Nigeria.”
While enumerating other activities of the association to include trainings and skills empowerment, Ozumba enjoined the government to support the Bakers’ House with funds to facilitate trainings at highly subsidised rate, stressing that this would go a long way to assist its members, many of whom she said were breadwinners in their respective homes.
Also speaking, the Head of Administration, Bakers House, Ajoke Awolowo, urged the government to provide fund support through loans with little interest.
She stated some of the achievements of the association to include trainings of members and empowerment, financial support for business expansion and services amongst others.
According to her, “A lot have been achieved, looking at where we started from and where we are right now. Some of the things we have recorded are trainings and empowerment of members and non-members, and financial support. And we are using this medium to call on the government to help us for loans support; soft loans with very little interest rate. This will go a long way. The baking and confectionery industry accommodates large skills to include decoration, event management, and so on.”
Sharing her experiences, a member of the association, Stella Irabor, said, “Ever since I’ve been a member, I’ve felt the impact on my business and self-development so much that I am much convinced that women are great asset. We want support from government in area of loans with little interest in order to grow our businesses.”
Bakers’ House is a body of professional bakers and confectioners established in 2017