BY JONAH NWOKPOKU
An expert in the water processing industry, Mr. Emeka Ike, has lamented the near absence of regulation by the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, the agency of government entrusted with the task of regulating the sector, adding that the agency lacks the manpower to carry out the task effectively.
He noted that the Federal Government is not doing enough in monitoring the quality of water produced in the country.
He made this known while speaking to Vanguard in Lagos, on the challenges of the Water Processing Industry as Small and Medium Enterprises, SME.
“Because we have a lot of competitors in the industry, some of us produce water that contains iron, which is unhealthy. They just produce and sell because they just got their licence and started producing because government is not monitoring. Government should do more than issuing NAFDAC number. They should also monitor people after issuing operating licence,” he said.
“I know that the section of NAFDAC that is supposed to be regulating this water sector does not have enough manpower to even regulate the food industry, let alone the water section, but I will encourage them to open up NAFDAC offices in every local government councils so that they will be able to monitor people they have given licences to operate. With that, we can have better and healthy water. And of course you know that with good water, one would certainly live longer,” he added.
Mr. Ike, who is also the Managing Director of Emlo Wright Way pharmaceuticals Industry Ltd, a table water manufacturing firm in Lagos, noted that there is blatant and regular abuse of stipulated water processing standards in the industry as a result of this lack of monitoring from government.
“Based on standards, there are so many other things they asked us to use in manufacturing water. For instance, every water manufacturer is supposed to use ozone generator, but some of them are not using it at all and they are not ready to change their filter every day of their production. And some of them do not even have production managers, they just employ them to get their licence and after that, they discharge the person because they can’t afford to pay graduates and they will begin to sell their products beyond the controlled prices, because they are cutting corners. And government does not seem to care about that,” he said.
He noted that the best way government can assist private operators in the sector to grow is by giving loans and providing electricity, besides regular quality control measures.
“As a small business, government can assist by giving loans to any industrial lease or business man that make up to a certain turnover in a month because the condition of getting a loan from banks today is very stringent. And government must do something about power supply because if you continue spending your profit on diesel, running generator to sustain a business, it would not survive eventually,” he said.