Table Water Producers in Edo State have announced price increase in its products across the State, accusing Water Retailers of profiteering from its demand and supply distribution value chain.
The cancellation of the newly introduced ‘N1000 daily haulage levy per water truck’ operating in the State, by the Government on Friday, prompted the producers to call off the indefinite strike that began barely two weeks ago.
Chairman of the Association, Mr Michael Ogbebor stated this during Sunday Pidgin English Radio programme in Benin City where he blamed the hike on cost of production and materials.
Ogbebor explained that the date for the implementation of the increment, is yet-to-be announced, but insisted that the increment will not affect the selling prices of packaged water.
According to him, “The issue of N1,000 haulage was introduced by Edo Inland Revenue Service, EIRS, directing us (producers) to pay N1,000 per truck daily. It means that if you have 10 water trucks on the road, you will pay N1,000 daily haulage levy for the trucks”.
“After the strike, the Government said we should not pay the tax again, and that we should go about our normal businesses. The fee had been cancelled by the Government. But, we still pay other normal taxes.
“This strike has made us to know that there is nobody that can do without water. But, we want to increase the price of Table Water. We want to slightly increase the price of sachet water which currently sell for N12.50 kobo.
“That is we (producers) sell a bag of sachet water for N250.00 slightly above that amount. We just don’t want to start it now because we have to sensitize the public first.
“This small increment will not be able to change the market price per a bag of water at Retail shops. Our aim is not to punish the consumers.
But, we need to survive in our businesses; A parking bag of sachet water is now sold between N11, 000 to N18,000, depending on the macro.
“The Retailers who are profiteering could still sell for N20.00 and make their own profit. When you want to buy, insist on N20.00 per sachet”, Ogbebor said for now”.