The Association of Table Water Producers (ATWAP) has announced it will shut down and suspend production in all water-producing factories in Enugu State due to the unbearable high cost of production.
This announcement was made in a statement issued by the Chairman of ATWAP, Enugu State Chapter, Mr. Tony Edike, and its State Secretary, Sir Clems Nwamadi, on Sunday in Enugu.
The statement followed an emergency meeting held by members of the ATWAP Enugu State Chapter on Feb. 8, 2024, to discuss the challenges facing all members of the association.
It stated that from Monday, Feb. 12, to Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, all Table Water Producers in Enugu State, including those producing Sachets and Pet Bottles, are required to down tools and suspend all production to seek a workable solution to the many challenges being faced by members.
The statement outlined that the 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 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 statement explained.
The significant increase in the prices of raw materials, including nylon, packing bags, purifying materials, procurement of water from boreholes located outside the city, diesel, high electricity tariff, haulage/transportation, and other maintenance and staff costs, necessitated the closure.
Additionally, the upward review of various fees charged by both agencies of the state and local governments within their areas of operations was also a contributing factor.
Field reports from various zones of the association indicated that many producers had already shut down their factories due to the high cost of materials and other production challenges that increased their rates among members.
The statement further resolved that “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 or violator of this resolution, 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 compliance with standard operating procedures.
The statement concluded by appealing for the cooperation of dealers and consumers, soliciting their understanding during this period to enable producers to remain in business.