Packaged water producers hinge price increment on production costs hike
…Operators decry multiple taxation, regulation by government agencies
The Association of Table Water Producers of Nigeria (ATWAP) has blamed the recent increase in the price of water and table water on the cost of production, which has risen by over 600 percent.
The association lamented that multiple taxation and overlapping functions by government agencies at all levels are having adverse effect on the industry, as more than 30 government agencies are regulating the sector.
National President, Mrs Clementina Chinwe Ativie, who disclosed this at the national conference of the association in Abuja, observed that a tonne of nylon used in producing the water, which hitherto cost about N680,000, is now N1.5 million for the same quantity.
While saying that there are over 16,000 registered packaged water producers in the country, Ativie noted there are lots of quacks in the industry and some people don’t want to belong to the association because they don’t want to be traced by the government.
She said: “Today, 99 percent of Nigerians drink satchet or table water because there is confidence that value has been added to it. It has been purified. The cost of production has gone up by over 600 per cent. We have no choice if we want to continue to give Nigerians quality water wholesome water.
“I must confess that table water production in Nigeria has grown to become a big industry and ATWAP has, for the past 22 years, been in the forefront of ensuring that wholesome water, which is life, is given to the populace through our standardised packaged water and most times, delivered to their door steps.
“However, we are faced with so many challenges in the industry and some of them include dealing with quacks and illegal producers, poor electricity supply, multiple taxation and overlapping functions by government agencies at all levels.
The ATWAP president solicited for special interventions from the government in the form of special financing and equipment sourcing, tax waivers and other forms of encouragement that will allow her members to continue serving Nigerians better.
Also speaking, Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof Christiana Adeyeye noted that the agency has registered over 1,500 packaged water manufacturing outlets in the country, adding that bottled water industry is a multi billion naira industry that has to be taken very seriously because water is very important.
Adeyeye who was represented by the Director Public Affairs, Jimoh revealed that between January and August this year, NAFDAC has shut down 27 packaged water industries that are not compliant stressing that they must comply with good manufacturing practices before they are reopened.