The Association of Table Water Producers 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 Chairman and Secretary of ATWAP, Enugu State Chapter, Tony Edike and Sir Clems Nwamadi, revealed this.
Edike and Nwamadi made the revelation in a statement issued on Sunday in Enugu.
They said the statement was issued after members of ATWAP, Enugu State Chapter held an emergency meeting in Enugu on February 8, 2024 on the challenges confronting all members of the association.
It said from February 12 to 15, 2024, all Table Water Producers in Enugu State, including Sachets and Pet Bottles, are required to down tools and suspend all productions.
According to the statement: “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, were 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/transportation and other maintenance and staff costs, we had to close shop.
“Also, the upward review of various fees charged by both agencies of the state and local governments within our areas of operations, is also a factor.”
The statement said that ATWAP, after receiving field reports from various zones of the association, indicated that many producers had shut down their factories due to high cost of materials and other production challenges that had increased their rate among the members.
The statement said that 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 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.
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“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.