*As it seals off 27 companies,registers over 200 others in 8 months
By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA–AGAIN,the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control,NAFDAC,has warned producers of packaged water in the country against compromising standards, warning that it would not hesitate to clamp down on any found wanting no matter who was involved.
The agency’s warning came as it disclosed that a total of 27 companies producing packaged water in the country have been closed down over unsatisfactory Good Manufacturing Practices,GMP, with over 2000 others registered to be in the business of packaged water production within eight months.
Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye,who spoke,Tuesday,through her representative and Director, Public Affairs, NAFDAC, Dr. Jimoh Abubakar, tasked producers of package water to be conscious of the enabling law on production of package water to avoid being on the other side of the law.
Adeyeye spoke at the National Convention of the Association for Table Water Producers of Nigeria,ATWAP, with a theme:” Developing a packaged water industry as a catalyst to economic growth and a greener economic in Nigeria”,held in Abuja.
“Between January and August, 2021, we have over 2,153 water manufacturing outlets that have registered in Nigeria. Also, between January and August this year, we have shut down 27 companies, packaged water industries that are not compliant. They are under seal, they have been sealed off and they will have to comply with good manufacturing practices before they are reopened,” the agency’s boss said.
Noting that,”the bottled water industry is a multi-billion naira industry,”she said,” we take it very seriously because water is very important.”
Apart from the economic benefit, Adeyeye added that,”the health benefits are overwhelming because water is life.”
NAFDAC explained that its action sealing off the companies for poor standard, was part of its efforts towards not only sustaining good hygiene in the packaged water industry but also for a greener environment.
She spoke on the mandate of the agency in ensuring safe packaged water in the country, thus: “We set the guidelines and also point out the way forward in terms of good manufacturing practices. But it is for them, after obtaining the NADFAC registration, to go back and do what is right. We are here to partner with them and also show some solidarity so that they can continue to do what is right because NAFDAC as a regulatory agency, we are friends of the industry, we should not be seen as police, so we need to close that gap.”
She spoke further: “We are here to partner with the industry and tell them that NAFDAC cannot do it alone, for them to help us to fish out the erring ones because they know the criminal elements in their midst and the illegal outfits that are operating, so we are going to work together to ensure that when you take water, you are good to go because the NAFDAC’s number that we give is very sacrosanct, it’s a scientific number, it’s not just any number like you give vehicle numbers.”