The Association of Table Water Producers (ATWAP) has announced its decision to cease operations and halt production across all water-producing facilities.
This comes from a joint statement issued by Mr. Tony Edike, the Chairman of ATWAP Enugu State Chapter, and Sir Clems Nwamadi, the State Secretary, on Sunday in Enugu.
The statement follows an emergency meeting held by members of ATWAP Enugu State Chapter on Feb. 8, 2024, to address the challenges facing the association’s members.
Starting from Monday, Feb. 12 (tomorrow) until Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, all Table Water Producers in Enugu State, including those producing sachets and PET bottles, are instructed to cease operations and suspend production activities.
This decision stems from the overwhelming high costs of production faced by factories in Enugu State.
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 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, 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,” it said.
According to ATWAP, field reports from different association zones revealed that numerous producers had ceased operations in their factories due to elevated material costs and various production challenges, resulting in an increased shutdown 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 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 requested the collaboration of both dealers and consumers, emphasizing the need for their understanding during this period to support the producers’ continuity in business.