NIGERIA – There are growing concerns over the quality of imported components for packaging sachet water, popularly known in Nigeria as ‘Pure Water’.
Consumers of the table water in the Plateau State capital, Jos, are worried that the quality of the components of the nylon used for the sachet, and the one for bagging it for onward sale, has continued to drop.
Now, the water content is almost useless in the sachet because the nylon imported into the country is substandard, and tears off effortlessly to spill the content, consumers say.
“Buy a bag of pure water, you can’t take it home to your family because the bag containing it is substandard. It is so light that the bagged sachets boast out effortlessly as you try to lift it up.
But the worst experience is with the water sachets themselves; they are so light that they can’t hold water in your palms. Try to open and drink it, the water content will boast and spills in your face,” a consumer said.
Peter, as he gave his name, said he observed the drop in the quality of the components of the ‘Pure Water’ over time, but added that it has got even worse now.
“Like all consumables imported into the country, we started observing the drop in the quality of nylon imported into the country to sachet and bag ‘Pure Water’ over time,” he said.
“But it has got worse now when you can’t consume what you buy without it spilling and wasting away in your face.”
Producers of the table water, through the Association of Table Water Producers (ATWAP), confirmed the development, and said they have had to complain over the quality of the nylon imported into the country themselves.
Vice Chairman of the association in Jos, Alhaji Sani Bala told Daily Trust on phone that Indian businessmen have monopoly over the import business, and have used it to maximize profit at the detriment of both the producers of the table water, and the consumer.
Alhaji Sani said the soaring cost of the import has seen to the hike in the price of ‘Pure Water’ in recent times, but wondered why regulatory bodies including Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), and National Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have not risen to their responsibilities to get the importers to bring in only quality materials for the production of table water.
He said the Indian control of the import market saw the cost of a tonne of the sachets rising from N450,000 to N480,000, and now N1.1 million within a span of just a year, while the packing bags which used to cost N1,003 per roll, now goes for N5,700 within the same period.
He lamented that Nigerian authorities have not helped the common man who consumes the table water, when they (agencies) overlooked the drop in the quality at a time the cost has continued to soar.