Fast Food Confectioners In Nigeria Face Enormous Challenges — AFFCON

Fast Food Confectioners In Nigeria Face Enormous Challenges — AFFCON

Fast Food Confectioners In Nigeria Face Enormous Challenges — AFFCON

by October 29, 2015 0 comments

Fast Food operators under the umbrella of the Association of Fast Food Confectioners of Nigeria (AFFCON) have cried out over numerous challenges facing the fast food industry, even as they highlighted the contribution of the sector to the nation’s economy.

Speaking in Lagos recently during the association’s national conference, AFFCON members called on the Federal Government to ameliorate the challenges facing the industry by putting plans in place for operators to benefit from agricultural soft loans.

The theme of the conference was “Synergy in the Food Chain-Catalyst for Economic and Agricultural Development”.

Making her opening remarks, AFFCON President, Mrs. Bose Ayeni, stated that the nation’s “fast food industry is a key contributor to the Nigerian economy, with an estimated annual revenue of N230 billion and taxes in excess of a billion naira.”

She added that the industry “also collectively provides employment for over 500,000 people at the processing and retailing level.”

On challenges facing the sector, Ayeni said: “Amongst the myriads of challenges facing the new government, we would like to join our voice to highlight some specific areas that require attention. Some of these that have direct impact on our sector are security, exchange, inflation, interest rates and urgent diversification of the economy.”

AFFCON’s Financial Secretary, Mr. Oye Famoriyo, corroborated Ayeni’s view, noting that government’s soft loan to farmers have not benefited fast food industry operators.

Famoriyo said: “The contribution of AFFCON to national development is enormous in the sense that we are creating value for the food chain industry. A lot of people are being employed in this industry. A lot of people in the agricultural food chain are stakeholders in the industry. You can imagine the number of slaughtered chickens that are being bought by our members! Just imagine the amount of tomatoes, flour, bags of rice being used by our members. We do not use imported chicken. We are the major consumer of chicken bred in Nigeria.”

Famoriyo added: “Our challenges are equally enormous. We thank God that the government is taking bold steps in the electricity sector, but we have challenges with assessing capital. Furthermore, the rate at which banks give out loan is very high, if you compare it with what is being charged abroad. We want a situation we can assess loan at a low rate. This will help, not only those of us in the industry, but everyone working to improve the economy. So, we are looking forward to where we can have a single-digit rate loan.

“The agricultural loan planned by the government is limited; government did not consider people who are patronising the agricultural sector. We are major stakeholders in the agricultural business. So, if they are being given loan at a single-digit rate, what of those of us who are processing the outcome of the farm produce? We should equally enjoy the same interest rate.”

On training for operators in the sector, he said: “For now we do not have collaboration with training institutions. But with the coming of Hotel, Restaurants, Café, Bakery and Beverage (HoReCaBB) Mentors, which is representing international training institution for food beverage industry in Nigeria, things may be different. We can have a synergy in which the company can train our people on food and beverages, since the firm is working in conjunction with a known university abroad — State University of New York (SUNY).

“The theme of this year’s conference will also extend to companies like HoReCaBB Mentors because it may be difficult for an individual to pay the fees for certification in different phases of food and beverage. But we will come together and have arrangement with HoReCaBB Mentors so that the company can train our members as a group, instead of four of five persons at a time. Such arrangement will help to bring down the cost of training.”

AFFCON Secretary, Mr.Martins Ogunade, said operators were taking steps to protect the health of fast food consumers, saying: “The health of our consumers are important to us. We are also consumers as our friends and relatives buy these foods to eat. We need to think about the health implications of what we do, as it affects everybody, including us. We eat what we prepare. So, if we do not want health issues, we must be concerned about what we prepared”.

Source: Guardian



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