By Richard Thomas, Ibadan
Members of the Association of Table Water Producers (ATWAP), Ibadan branch in Oyo have called on the federal government and Oyo state government, in particular, to come to the aid of the association in order to improve on standard and ensure sanity in the industry so as to achieve quality table water for the masses.
The call followed efforts by the association leadership moves to sanitise and standardize the industry and to also deal with some internal and external challenges confronting the advancement of the association in recent times.
Speaking on behalf of the body in Ibadan, chairman of the association, Alhaji Adebayo Akande Abdulkabir said the external problems have to do with the government while the internal problems have to do with quacks and unregistered members of the association.
“The internal problems have to do with quackery and attitude of unregistered members, poor and unhygienic table water in circulation among others, while the external problems have to do with quackery and non-intervention of government on matters affecting the industry over some time which is fast affecting the sector.
“If we have government backing and support, this will go a long way to address many of these problems confronting us. We need government backing in order to sanitise and standardize the industry and association as a whole.”
“We have intensified so much effort to achieve this over some time, but we still need government backing to address all these challenges.”
While lamenting the influx of poor table water in circulation by quack and unprofessional hands in the state, Alhaji Abdulkabir said the development needs to be checked in order to find a lasting solution to the menace of poor and unhygienic table water in circulation which pose great danger to the health of the people.
He urged the people to always check the waters before drinking, adding that low prices attached to such water should not make them patronise them but should ensure that they go for quality water irrespective of the price.
“Our association is duly registered with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration And Control (NAFDAC), The agency needs to come to the aid of our association in order to effect quality control and to also salvage the association from being undermined by quacks and unprofessional elements who are bent on destroying the image of the association.”
“Government is not seeing us as contributing to the economy of the state and nation in particular, this ought not to be so. There has not been supporting funds from the government to assist members of the industry but we pay high taxes to the government. We ought to be partners in progress in order to make the economy of the state and nation strong and viable.”
He then appealed to the government of the day to support the economic activities of the association by assisting them with grants and establish a quality control system that will help sanitize the industry.
Speaking on the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business and activities of the association recently, Alhaji Abdulkabir said the pandemic caused a major setback in the areas of patronage from their prospective customers including hotels, institutions, garage workers, students among others, adding that the development also hiked prices of raw materials, many of which are imported from overseas.
Alhaji Abdulkabir assured the government and the people that members of the association will continue to improve on the quality of their products, saying that the health of the consumers is paramount to them.