Sachet water producers down tools in Enugu over high cost of production

The Association of Table Water Producers (ATWAP) says it will shut down and suspend production in all water-producing factories in Enugu State due to the unbearable high cost of production.

The association said it would enable them to seek a workable solution to the challenges faced by its members.

A statement jointly signed by the Chairman and Secretary of ATWAP Enugu State Chapter, Mr Tony Edike, and Sir Clems Nwamadi respectively, said the decision was taken at an emergency meeting held on February 8, 2024, on the challenges confronting all members of the association.

It said from Monday, February 12 (today) to Thursday, February 15, 2024, all table water producers in Enugu State including sachets and pet bottles would be required to down tools and suspend all production.

The statement reads, “The current harsh economic situation in the country especially as it affects materials and other logistics for the production of sachet water in the state were critically reviewed. 

“After hours of deliberations on the overwhelming challenges being encountered by ATWAP members, especially the over 500 percent increase in the prices of raw materials and other factors of production, we have to come to this decision.

“The 500 percent increase in the prices of raw materials, which included: nylon, parking bags, purifying materials, procurement of water from boreholes located outside the city, diesel, high electricity tariff, haulage/transportation, and other maintenance and staff costs.

“Also, the upward review of various fees charged by both agencies of the state and local government areas within our areas of operations.”

It said that ATWAP after receiving field reports from various zones of the association indicated that many producers had shut down their factories due to the high cost of materials and other production challenges that had increased the mortality rate among the members. 

The statement said that ATWAP Enugu State Chapter hereby resolves as follows: “With effect from Feb. 16, 2024, a Bag of Sachet Water (20 sachets) will be sold at N300 to enable the producers to sustain their operations and rescue their businesses/investments from total collapse.

“Any defaulter/violator of this resolution which was unanimously endorsed by all members of ATWAP Enugu State Chapter will pay a fine of N200,000 per any truck/driver caught by the ATWAP Task Force already mandated to enforce the exercise.

“Members are advised to mobilize their staff during the period of the factory shutdown to clean up their equipment and keep their environment clean as the Task Force will soon embark on Factory Inspection to ensure that members comply with standard operating procedures.”  

The statement, however, appealed for the cooperation of dealers and consumers, as “we are hereby soliciting their understanding during this period to enable us (the producers) to remain in business”.