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Nigerians consume N8bn packaged water daily — NAFDAC DG

By on October 25, 2013

The Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Dr. Paul Orhii, has said that Nigerians consume bottled and sachet water worth N8bn daily.

According to him, this accounts for the high number of people getting into the business of packaged water production, and underline the need for the agency to regulate activities within the sector.

Orhii spoke at a stakeholders’ forum organised by the Small and Medium Scale Enterprise Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Lagos on Wednesday.

“Water consumption amounts to N8bn per day in Nigeria, that is, talking about bottled water only, not taking into consideration other uses and with a population of about 160 million people; it is a very good business. Everybody will want to get into it and so there is a need for training,” he said.

Orhii said NAFDAC was closely monitoring the business to ensure that quality was not compromised, adding that the agency was sometimes stringent on its requirements for product certification in order to discourage those who did not meet the required standards.

According to him, the agency has also concluded plans to begin the certification of chemical dealers after giving them basic trainings on the dangers of some chemicals to human health.

Speaking on the challenges of the agency, Orhii said counterfeit drugs remained the major problem confronting NAFDAC and the nation at large.

He said Nigeria was susceptible to fake drugs due to its large population, dependence on imported goods and porous borders, and urged the people to report suspicions of illegal production of goods around them as consuming uncertified products could have dangerous consequences.

The President, LCCI, Mr. Goodie Ibru, said the forum was organised to enable stakeholders to meet with the regulators on how to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

Ibru said a good regulatory environment was crucial to the operations, viability and profitability of businesses in the country.

He said, “Recently, we received complaints from companies bordering on regulations, monitoring and compliance. We also conducted a survey on the activities of some public regulatory agencies, including NAFDAC.

“It was discovered that businesses are increasingly at the receiving end mostly in the areas of delay in registration and certification of products, multiplicity and arbitrary charges, frequency of visits that come with costs to the companies and overlap of functions with other agencies.”

Reacting to the complaints, Orhii said NAFDAC had put certain measures in place to alleviate the long process of product certification by establishing a small business support desk within the agency.

He urged business owners to take advantage of the support desk as well as the online services of the agency.