By: Ade Phillips
The Association of Table Water Producers (ATWAP) has declared its decision to temporarily cease production in Enugu due to the excessively high cost of production.
This announcement was made in a statement released by the chairman, Tony Edike, and secretary, Clems Nwamadi, on Sunday, following an emergency meeting of ATWAP members in Enugu on February 8, 2024, where they discussed the prevailing challenges.
According to the statement, all table water producers in Enugu will suspend production from Monday to Thursday in response to the ongoing situation.
ATWAP stated, “This is to enable us to seek a workable solution to the many challenges being faced by our members. 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, was critically reviewed.
“After hours of deliberations on the overwhelming challenges being encountered by ATWAP members, especially the over 500 per cent increase in the prices of raw materials and other factors of production, we have to come to this decision.”
Following the 500 per cent 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 and transportation and other maintenance and staff costs, we had to close shop, added ATWAP.
The association noted that the upward review of various fees charged by state and local government agencies within our areas of operations was also a factor.
The statement stressed that ATWAP, after receiving field reports from various zones, indicated that many producers had shut down their factories due to the high cost of materials and other production challenges that had increased their rate among the members.
“ATWAP Enugu state chapter hereby resolves as follows: With effect from February 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 mobilise 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,” said the statement.
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.”