The House of Representatives is considering empowering the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control to regulate the production and sale of packaged water in the country.
Water packaged in sachet is popularly called ‘pure water’.
A bill to amend the NAFDAC Act, which passed second reading at the plenary on Wednesday, is to allow the agency to “capture other forms of packaged water, other than in bottles”.
The legislation is a product of three bills consolidated by the House.
The joint bill is sponsored by Chairmen of the House Committee on Health Services, Yusuf Sununu; Committee on Health Services, Pascal Obi; and Danchung Bagos.
The legislation is titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Amend the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control Act, Cap. N1, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to capture other forms of packaged water, other than in bottles, encourage cooperation with other Relevant Agencies in carrying out its functions, introduce the coordination of clinical trials and some new offences and increase penalties for commission of offences under the bill and to provide for payment of all monies received by the agency into the Federation Account in accordance with Section 162 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999; and for Related Matters.’
NAFDAC had earlier in January said it would start carrying out raids on factories producing and selling sachet water without expiry dates and approved codes. Earlier in March 2017, NAFDAC, in its effort to stamp out illegal production of sachet water, had shut down 10 substandard and unregistered sachet water factories in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The operation also led to the arrest of four persons involved in illegal sachet water production.
NAFDAC also confiscated four buses, three sachet water packaging machines, rolls of films and three generators used in the business. Also in 2017, NAFDAC shut a package water factory in Azare, Katagum Local Government Area of Bauchi State for operating without registration.
The Director of Public Affairs, NAFDAC, Abubakar Jimoh, had disclosed that the agency shut Ummi Salama Table Water factory during one of its routine inspections in Bauchi State. He had also said the facility was shut for non-registration with the agency.
Pix: House of Representative