CAPPA – Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa

CAPPA, stakeholders, urge FG to stand firm on proposed increase of SSB tax

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The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) and the Sugar Sweetened Beverages Tax Coalition, have advised the federal government to stand firm in defending the health of the country by enacting the proposed N20/liter tax for Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSB) into law, without further delay.[spacer height=”25px”]

SSB’s include non-alcoholic beverages we popularly refer to as soft drinks (i.e. cola, sodas), juices, nectars, sugar cane juice, malt drinks, sweetened coffee, energy drinks, sports drinks, flavoured and diary drinks etc.[spacer height=”25px”]

The Executive Director, CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi and other stakeholders made the call at a press briefing held in Lagos on Monday to ‘Expose the False Industry Narratives on SSB tax’.[spacer height=”25px”]

Akinbode said the high calories and liquid sugar absorbed into the body from SSBs alters the body’s metabolism, affecting insulin, cholesterol and metabolites that in turn cause high blood pressure and inflammation that linked to the increasing rate of obesity and diabetes in the country.[spacer height=”25px”]

He said although the SSBs tax was introduced through the Finance Act in 2021, it did not come into force until June 2022, maintaining that the N10 /liter tax is still below the recommendations of WHO.[spacer height=”25px”]

According to him “Considering the dangers it poses, not only in terms of health but also the financial implications, the Nigerian government must be commended for taking this bold step.[spacer height=”25px”]

“However, for the government to achieve its mandate on reducing the cases of non-communicable diseases through the SSB tax, the minimum recommendation by the WHO is 20% tax on the final retail price of the SSB product. The current 10 Naira/liter imposed across all SSBs has easily been absorbed by the producers. Same with the proposed N20 being proposed. Even at N20 /liter, we are still behind the WHO recommendation.”[spacer height=”25px”]
Oluwafemi counselled the government to institute a sustainable legal framework, beyond the yearly Finance Act process, for SSB tax with clear timelines for attaining the WHO recommended 20% of retail price.[spacer height=”25px”]
Also speaking at the event, Dr. Francis Fagbule, a public health expert said government should do the needful, increase the SSB tax, so as to drastically reduce the consumption of the products.[spacer height=”25px”]
He the alarm on the health hazards of the carbonated drinks.[spacer height=”25px”]
According to Fagbule ‘The unchecked consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) is a huge risk factor for obesity and overweight, which lead to other health complications that include but not limited to Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, 13 of the 15 major types of cancer, and stroke”.[spacer height=”25px”]

He said SSB Tax is a pro-health tax aimed at reducing overconsumption of sugary drinks in other to lower the burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).[spacer height=”25px”]

The Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax Coalition therefore, tasked the government not to succumb to ‘cheap blackmail’ embarked upon by the industry.[spacer height=”25px”]

The National Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax Coalition, which is made up of over 30 non-governmental organizations and public health professionals across the country tasked the government not to succumb to cheap blackmail of an industry that places profit above the health of the people.[spacer height=”25px”]
Other speakers including Ibitoye Opeyemi, provided input at the conversation, while others like: Nonso Maduka, Barnabas Yahaya, Anjola Fatuase, and Kemisola Ibitoye among others joined through zoom.[spacer height=”25px”]

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