On bread boom and bellyache



The astronomical increase in the price of bread has caused so much hardship to many Nigerians. Bread is one of the staple foods in Nigeria. It is made of flour, and depending on the type, eggs, sugar, salt, butter, yeast, etc.

Bread has been the basic diet of human beings. It is very flexible. It can adopt and adapt various other classes of diets. Tea seems to be bread’s favourite, followed by egg, followed by beans. I find it odd seeing a particular group of people eating bread with rice or with yam. Well, one man’s poison is another man’s meal, you say. But then, the idea of these selectors rests on the premise that they derive more energy when they consume more carbohydrate because their work is energy-demanding. Another reason may be that they do not want to waste money by eating in “junks”. They do not, in other words, like wasting ample times eating in the morning, in the afternoon, and/or in the night. They are all too busy doing that. And what they eat at 9 a.m., for example, is sufficient to carry them through the day.

What shall we say, then, that bread is now exorbitant? What will be the lot of those who have no flair for other diets? Or those whose combinatory possibilities would have to be impaired, in one way or another, because the price of bread has been jacked up? Will they both begin to follow the new normal by learning how to eat other meals by all means? How would the spouse begin to compliment the taste of her partner without creating any choice or conflict of interest?

The hiking of flour price has influenced the cost of bread production, which has affected its law of demand and supply. We need to know, by the way, that things, generally, have astronomically increased some way or other. For example, the Federal Government on Tuesday, August 4, increased the hate speech fine from N500,000 to N5m. To be sure, hear what the outgoing National Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Kunle Edun, said in part: “The press as the Fourth Estate of the Realm plays the constitutional role of our democracy in the face of increasing impunity, seemingly official policy of disobedience of court orders, sheer exhibition of rascality by some of our security agencies and unbridled corruption in government. Gagging the press by increasing the fine for hate speech by 900 per cent is anti-people.”

One wouldn’t have expected the righteous indignation demonstrated by concerned members of the NBA. The associates argue that it is uncalled-for for press to be stifled. They say it is counter-productive and counter-intuitive for the Federal Government to precipitously impose yet another fine on broadcasting bodies (especially the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria. So you see that everything has virtually increased, even to the very bread we consume every now and then.

But has the fine, by any means, stopped the press from working and the journalists or broadcasters from receiving salaries? That’s what I’m saying, namely that, we can adjust to the new normal. We shouldn’t let bread become the grundnorm of our dietaries, if we can. Otherwise, we can manage around getting much affordable and comfortable and cheaper prices. Yam and egg could do some good meal. Or yam with beans, particularly for those who consume in large quantities and are pragmatic about spending stupendously. How about potatoes with either of eggs or beans? We would soon discover the permutations matching our ideal bread-oriented diets.

Segun Ige,

Lagos

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