ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has urged the Association of Table Water Producers (ATWAP) in Bayelsa State to step up the level of their compliance and standardisation.
Bayelsa State Director, NAFDAC, Mr. Ihekire Chucks, said the water producers companies in the state were complying in terms of treatment facility, UV light, micro filters, coding, Reverse Osmosis (RO) and other materials needed for production of table waters according to international standards.
Chucks stated this during the agency’s inspection tours of various table water companies in Bayelsa State.
Speaking at the end of the inspection, he said work was still in progress to make sure that the table water producers comply completely.
He said NAFDAC would ensure that anytime production was ongoing, the production manager must be around to supervise what was being produced.
Chucks stated: “Though, it is not yet uhuru for the producers, and for us as a body, we will keep on doing our best to make sure that water factories comply with the directive of NAFDAC. We want to make sure that if Bayelsans buy any table water, it’s a safe for drinking.
“The filters are of different sizes and there are scientific reasons for that. It’s very important that some of the biological contaminants are cleared from the water so that we can actually get a clean table water we deserve.
“Those producing must keep to the directive of NAFDAC because we are safeguarding the health of the nation. We must make sure the people drink clean water at all times.”
He said apart from the table water producers, the agency also visited supermarkets in the state for inspection, stressing that when the issue of fake tomatoes came up, the agency was on the alert and tackled it squarely.
Chucks added: “We also followed up with bakers that produce bread and other baking food that we eat to make sure they don’t use saccharin, potassium bromate and to make sure the environment is well and clean.
“We need to see that the environment is good, the equipment are okay, and even the personnel should be experienced and qualified. We have gone to so many of the bakeries and we are still going back because it’s a continuous process.”
The State Chairman of ATWAP, Chris Erefinyo, commended the the effort of NAFDAC, saying it was highly commendable that a regulatory body was doing its best to ensure table water producers adhered to the standards and regulations guiding the industry.
Erefinyo said ATWAP was in full support of what was being done by NAFDAC to sanitise the industry, noting that they were ever ready to cooperate with NAFDAC to ensure the right thing is being done.
According to him, ATWAP also does self regulation to ensure that all their members maintain good manufacturing practices (GMP) and adhere strictly to all the standard given to them by NAFDAC and other regulatory bodies.