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Title Page
Table of Cases
Table of Statutes
Table of Contents

1.1       Background to the Study
1.2       Statement of Research Problem
1.3       Aim and Objectives of the Research
1.4       Scope of the Research
1.5       Research Methodology
1.6       Justification of the Research
1.7       Literature Review
1.8       Organizational Layout

2.1       Introduction
2.2       Global Perspectives to Water Safety
2.3       Millennium Development Goals and Timeline For Safe Drinking Water Supply in Nigeria
2.4       World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines and Benchmarks
2.5       Nigerian Standard for Drinking Water Quality NIS 554:2007 ICS 13:06.20
2.6       NAFDAC Regulations for Packaged Water
2.7       Evidence of Sachet Water Contamination in Nigeria
2.8       The Effect of Contaminated Sachet Water on the Health of Consumers
2.9       Conclusion

CHAPTER THREE:            REGULATORY FRAMEWORK ON CONSUMER PROTECTION ON PACKAGED WATER IN NIGERIA                                                                      
3.1       Introduction
3.2       The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)
3.3       The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON)
3.4       The Consumer Protection Council of Nigeria (CPC)
3.5       Bottlenecks to Enforcement and Implementation
3.6       Conclusion

4.1       Introduction
4.2       Consumer Rights
4.3       Application of Res ipsa loquitor in Nigerian Cases
4.4       Relevance of Trade Marks Act Provisions to the Interest of the Consumer
4.5       Protection in the Law of Contract
4.6       Privity of Contract in Consumer Protection
4.7       Strict Liability
4.8       Protection under Criminal Provisions of NAFDAC and CPC Acts
4.9       Due Care and Prudence of the Consumer
4.10     The Burden of Proof of Negligence on an Injured Consumer of Contaminated Sachet Water
4.11     Conclusion

5.1       Summary
5.2       Findings
5.3       Recommendations


The indispensability of safe drinking water to man cannot be over-emphasized. This research has traversed the allowable length and breadth of the applicable laws, regulations, as well as international and national policy frameworks on safe drinking water. It has also examined cases and legal principles that should be applied to instances where consumers’ rights to safe drinking water, especially sachet water arise. However, acceptable and affordable as the innovation may seem, its associated downside is the proliferation of contaminated sachet water, the consumption of which has often brought upon the consumers the toll of harm, diseases and malignancies. This situation is compounded by the obvious inability of the regulatory agencies of government to effectively monitor and control this anomaly. More so, is the dilemma of the consumers to know which field of law they can seek their legal redress, either in contract, or in tort, or in the law of crimes, where they may be harmed or injured by the consumption of contaminated, untreated or over-treated sachet water. The lack of sufficient awareness of their rights as well as the regulatory and enforcement mandates of the statutory watchdogs like the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC),Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) puts a bitter icing on the cake of this malaise. The methodology used in this research is doctrinal as it dwelt essentially on the primary sources such as statutes, case law; and secondary sources such as academic publications, regulations, administrative policy documents, and other relevant materials sourced from the internet. The work is summed up with findings to the effect that government regulation in this field is not holistic as to provide the desired protection to consumers. Also, the conservative attitude of the courts that does not easily allow for res ipsa loquitur to be successfully pleaded in product liability cases by the plaintiff, but rather insists on the plaintiff proving the negligence or fault of the manufacturer/defendant was analysed. The work recommends that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) should take advantage of the enforcement provisions of the NAFDAC Act, 2004, in order to restrict the registration of operators of sachet water production and distribution to only qualified, capable and verifiable applicants. NAFDAC should ensure that the labeling and use instruction on sachet water be written with translation into the local language of the area of coverage while the Consumer Protection Council of Nigeria should increase its public enlightenment functions in order to bring to the notice of Nigerians the awareness of its existence and its functions. Also, it is recommended that the Consumer Protection Act should be amended to go beyond a requirement of safety certification by manufacturers, to holding them liable if as a result of no fault of the consumer, harm is caused by the use of such products. It is further recommended that the fines for product failure in the Act be increased significantly to deter malpractice. Finally, it is recommended that Nigerian courts should adopt and apply legal principles like res ipsa loquitur and strict liability that should attenuate the burden of proof of negligence on the consumer in product liability cases, especially in the area of packaged sachet water.



1.1              Background to the Study

Water is the most essential resource to the survival of man.  A reliable supply of

clean and safe water is very important to ensuring healthy living amongst the human populace in every community, state or country.

In Nigeria, government – owned public water utilities, such as Water Corporations or Boards, are statutorily charged with the responsibility of supplying water from conventional water treatment plants that use water from impounded reservoir (dams), flowing streams, lakes and deep boreholes. As the country‘s population grew, the supply of water by the public utilities became inadequate in quality and quantity. Also, many years of inadequate investment in public water supply by the successive Nigerian governments has left safe drinking water insufficient and unreliable, hence, the current adaptive measures of our society to fill the supply gap and alleviate the problems of water inadequacy. Chief amongst these measures is the dependence on sachet water popularly known as ―pure water‖. The manifestation therefore, is the emergence and proliferation of private water enterprises that operate side by side with the government-owned public water utilities.

The services of the category of private water enterprises selling packaged water in bottles were initially adjudged satisfactory and reliable in the past years. They are however, more expensive when compared to that provided by the government and the other category of private enterprises that sell theirs in sachets. However, bottled water producers are patronized by the few elite in the country, while majority of the people (who are usually the low income groups) in the country patronize and drink sachet water because of its cheaper price. Sachet water was introduced in 1990 but its regulation by.....

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