Cost of production pushes up prices of sachet water in Edo
Portable water, an indispensable liquid, required by commuters, workers, traders among others to rehydrate body tissues, now cost a lot of money for residents in Edo State following the astronomical price increase of the product.
It can be sold in plastic bottles and sachets. Water packaged in sachets, otherwise known as pure water is readily available to consumers because it is portable and affordable. But the latter is no longer the case for the common man as the rising prices of the product continue to drain their pockets, placing them at risk of dehydration.
Sadly, many persons do not have access to potable water and they prefer sachet water as their main source of drinking water to the ones packaged in bottles apparently owing to the difference in prices.
Market survey on Thursday in Benin City revealed that while a bag of sachet water sells between N300 and N400 as against N180 sold a week ago, a sachet is now N20 against N10, the amount it was previously sold.
“Basically, it is about the high cost of production and distribution. This is not because we are approaching Christmas. It is unfortunate we are witnessing this price increase at this time,” says Michael Ogbebor, chairman, Association of table water producers, Edo State chapter.
Ogbebor told BusinessDay that the prices of raw materials namely cellophanes for packaging, chemicals such as soda ash used for regulating the level of potential of hydrogen (pH) and other logistic items like diesel and fuel for transporting the products have continued to rise in the past few months.
“Many of the producers are folding up. Before now, a kilogram of cellophane was N780 but as we speak it is N1,650. The same thing applies to soda ash which is now N25,000 per bag as against N8,000 sold previously. Also, the parts of the sealing machine have increased from N3,000 to N7,000.
“Presently, we are not profiting from our business because we spend more buying processing materials,” he added.
He said if not for the intervention of the Edo State ministry of water resources who pleaded with them that the cost of buying the raw materials would drop, the prices of sachet water would have long been increased since March.
“Since then the cost of production keeps rising. When the country’s economy is growing and the amount we use in buying raw materials reduces, we will also bring down the price of purchasing our product.