ABUJA – The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr Muhammad Ali Pate, on Wednesday declared that taxation on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) has shown effective reduction on its consumption in countries where it is in force.
Dr Pate, who stated that Nigeria is amongst the countries with 77 percent of the global 41 million death caused by non-communicable diseases (NCD), said the introduction and sustenance of SSB tax in Nigeria will reduce excess consumption of SSBs and thus reduce the burden of NCDs.
Speaking at in Abuja at the just concluded National Conference on Sugar Sweetened Beverages Tax organised by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Corporate Accountability Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), with the themed: “Towards Sustainable Pathway for Pro-Health Tax in Nigeria” the Minister who was represented by the Director, Public Health department, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Chukwuma Anyaike said taxation on SSB has shown effective reduction on its consumption in countries where it is in force.
He said the introduction and sustenance of SSB tax in Nigeria will reduce excess consumption of SSBS and thus reduce the burden of NCDs.
He further said they are committed to attain the global best practice as recommended by the World Health Organisation of at least 20% of the final retail price on all SSBS as the current 10 naira per liter price fails to achieve this.
Also, the Executive Director of Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) Akinbode Oluwafemi expressed concern that more than 30% of all deaths in Nigeria are linked to Non-Communicable Diseases.
In his words “According to a World Health Organisation’s (WHO) report, the risk of premature death from cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), cancers, respiratory diseases, and diabetes among Nigerians aged 30 to 69-year-olds is 22%.
“As of 2020, there were more than 21 million overweight and 12 million obese ‘persons in the Nigerian population aged 15 years or more, accounting for an age adjusted prevalence of about 20% and 12% respectively”.
He urged the Federal Government through all necessary mechanism must retain the SSB tax in the next fiscal policy and increase to at least #50 while working with all stakeholders to find the most effective minimum tax rate that will help the government in achieving its goal.
Also, the House of Representative, National Assembly, Hon Amos Gwamna Magaji assured that the 10th Assembly as regarding health is committed to any legislature that will promote the health and well-being of Nigerians.
He said they are working with different stakeholders and capturing different aspects of health insurance ,health promotion and anything that will promote the health of Nigerians and reduce the burden of health in families and also in the communities.