Nigerian government threatens to shut down unhealthy water production factories

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has vowed to shut down packaged water production facilities that fail the Good Manufacturing Practice requirements.

Penpushing reports that, statement signed by Resident Media Consultant to the agency, Sayo Akintola also pledged to collaborate with the various associations in efforts to sanitize the packaged water sector of the economy.

The statement added that, Director General of the agency, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye made the assertions at a virtual stakeholders’ meeting with packaged water producers in Nigeria on the need to sanitize the industry.

Penpushing further reports that, she however, appealed to the 412 producers that participated in the interactive forum to always ensure that the level of compliance with agency regulatory requirements for which their products were registered be maintained at all times

The Director General expressed dismay that shortly after procuring registration approval, many of the over 16,000 registered producers of packaged water across Nigeria more often than not lower standards and produce the essential commodity under despicable conditions, putting the health of the Nigerian consuming public at risk.

‘NAFDAC was established by the NAFDAC Act CAP N1 of LFN to regulate and control the importation, exportation, manufacture, distribution, advertisement and use of Food, Drugs, Cosmetics, Medical Devises, Detergents, Chemicals and Packaged water’.

‘The Agency was established by the Federal Government with the mandate to safeguard public health through the regulation and control of the above Products, which impact on human health’.

‘’Today we are gathered on this platform as producers of packaged water and we all know that the situation in Nigeria today is such that the entire Nigerian populace (including the healthy, elderly, pregnant women, children and the weak with low immunity) depend on packaged water for sustenance, as many believe falsely or rightly that the municipal water, where available, may hardly be safe for drinking’’, she said.

Penpushing reports that, Adeyeye describing water as a unique product because it has no alternative, stated that everybody needs water or at least water based product for hydration, proper digestion of food, drugs and other human needs to sustain life.

The agency boss who enphasised that ‘’Water is life’’, however posited that water can only sustain life when it is available for drinking in the safe and potable form otherwise, adding that it could cause health complications and even lead to death.

‘’You are in the noble business of providing Nigerians with safe drinking water; but if you engage in activities that fall short of standards and regulatory requirements, you may be responsible for illness and even death of innocent Nigerians’’, she warns.

The Director General said, World Health Organisation(WHO) emphasised, access to safe drinking water which  is important as a health and development issue at a national, regional, and local level.

Human hand taking mineral water from shelf in supermarket

Penpushing reports that, Adeyeye appealed to the conscience of the producers to produce safe water for public consumption, urging them to belong to the group of life savers. She added that the agency is ever ready for collaboration with the various associations with a view to sanitizing the industry.

The agency boss insisted that packaged water must meet requirements of the authority regulations and provisions of the Nigerian Industrial standards for Packaged water, noting that the establishment would intensify its routine monitoring to ensure consistent compliance on GMP and other requirements; and apply appropriate sanctions on defaulters and violators.

Penpushing further reports that Adeyeye pointed out that packaged water production is a business that requires high sense of responsibility hence nonchalant attitude should be eliminated by our collective efforts.

‘’Your associations have the structure to reach and locate both legal and illegal producers of packaged water across the country, which could help regulators in weeding out those giving operators in the sector a bad name’’.

‘’Let me remind you that operating with expired license, producing without approval, relocation of factory site without approval, leasing of registered premises without approval, unauthorized contract manufacturing, distribution of expired or products without date markings, submission of fake documents and poor GMP all attract very severe sanctions’’, she warns.

Penpushing also reports that, she however urged them to address the issue of coding with batch numbers, production, and expiry dates while all water producers are expected to work out a workable system that will all for product coding.

The Director General who disclosed that the agency will henceforth conduct trainings for the stakeholders four times a year, further warned that evidence of participation in at least one training will be among the pre-requisites for renewal of product license renewal of product registration.

Meanwhile, both National presidents of the Association of Table Water Producers (ATWAP) Mrs. Tina Ativie and Water Producers Association of Nigeria (WAPAN) Mr. Egberi Odiri Mackson commended the agency for the initiative.

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