Nigeria: Govt Urged to Address Challenges in Confectionery Industry

(file photo)
29 August 2019

An operator in the baking sub-sector has charged the federal government to address the challenges in the industry.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, DewDrops Cakes Limited, Ezinne Okonkwo, made this call during an interview with journalists in Lagos.

According to her, the sector has little or no attention given to it as it has been swallowed up in the food industry.

According to Okonkwo, "We need the government to encourage us by stepping into this our situation as bakers and do the needful. We do not mind being given that particular attention.

"Every baker needs electricity, which everybody knows that without constant electricity we cannot produce. All my machines need to powered by electricity as we deal with delicate production.

"We need the government to step up to their responsibilities and make baking easier for us. I run my diesel generator for 24 hours, and by the time I add that into my pricing, sometimes my cakes are too expensive for an average income earner to buy."

Okonkwo, further urged the government to incorporate the cake business into the Nigerian entrepreneurship curriculum in the higher institution level.

Also speaking about the upcoming uncut learning bakers' seminar which holds on the 3rd and 4th of September 2019, in Lagos, she said: "This event is going to have a huge positive impact on the Nigerian economy in the sense that we are having a lot of people coming so that automatically means our tourist level has increased, and it is definitely giving Nigeria a very good name.

"This is the second edition and the vision behind this event was empowerment. I realised that if I'm able to change the mind-set of those around me, they would also affect the mind-set of those around them, thereby ensuring that the Nigerian baking industry would grow and come up to standards which will positively affect the economy at large."

The seminar, she added, would attract top experienced cake bakers come from all over and outside Nigeria with the Cake Boss coming for the first time from United States of America alongside other top bakers from other parts of the world and Nigeria coming to teach and grace the event, she said.

According to her, "This year's edition is going to be huge as we have the Cake Boss himself coming and identifying with the Nigerian bakers and the country as a whole, the exposure is going to be wide.

For us in the baking industry in Nigeria, the upcoming seminar is like celebrating Christmas because we are putting Nigeria on the global map."

The CEO further revealed that the employment rate in the sector is on the rise as the Nigerian youths have started substituting the cake business for white collar jobs.

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