By Mike Adeyemi
The Association of Table Waters Producers of Nigeria (ATWAP), Kwara State chapter has stated that the price of ‘pure water’ could? rise from the present N20 to about N50 per sachet if the Federal Government implements the proposed Excise Duty on carbonated beverages, National Pilot reliably gathered
Speaking on this development, Musa Kayode, the state chairman of ATWAPN stated this during a chat with our reporter on Tuesday.
According to him, ‘the Nigerian government is currently perfecting a plan to reintroduce excise duty on all non-alcholic drinks in the country, and if this is done we have no option than to alter the price.’
“Kwarans have witnessed sachet of water rise three times within the year from N5 to N10 and to N20. If the excise duty came to be, we have to sit and factor in many variables.
“We had already concluded to increase the cost of sachet water from N1500 to N200 per bag as result of high cost of production. And if the said reintroduce excise duty came in, it will hasten the proposed hike in the product, “Kayode said.
The ATWAPN boss lamented that the incessant increase in the prices of materials used in the production of water alongside unfavorable government’s policies has led many pure water producers in Kwara insolvent.
“The government should as a matter of urgency stop the proposed reintroducing the excise duty on both carbonated and non-carbonated beverages. This is not the appropriate time for that.
“Increases in the cost of production on daily basis has led to many of our members close their factory. We are just in the market to keep afloat.
“Presently we are in talk with the southwest states and the association will come out with a position if the government go ahead with their plan.. I advised that the government look at the effect of this before moving on with the policy,” Kayode advised.You will recall that the House of Representatives Committee on Finance had in August this year resolved that it would amend the Finance Act to include levies on all carbonated and non-carbonated drinks.
Excise duty on non-alcoholic was abolished in 1993 by the interim national government headed by Ernest Shonekan
Kwara ATWAPN are warning that the reintroduction of the abolished tax will lead to an increase in soft and nonalcoholic, saying the implementation of taxes on chemicals used in water production would have a multiplier effect on Kwara economy.