Group urges FG to use tax on carbonated beverages for health sector development

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In the wake of the policy of the Federal Government to impose N10per liter tax on carbonated and sweetened beverages, a health advocacy coalition, the National Action on Sugar (NASR), a health advocacy coalition, has urged the government to channel revenues towards addressing challenges in the health sector.

A member of the coalition, Dr. Alhassan Umar, commended the Federal Government for introducing the tax.

She said that NASR would continue to advocate proper utilisation of the funds towards preventing non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancers and others.

According to her, non-communicable diseases account for one in three deaths in Nigeria. She lamented that the diseases are a significant cause of premature death and loss of economic productivity.

“The coalition, therefore, applauded the Federal Government for this significant step towards protecting the lives of Nigerians and safeguarding the country’s economy. Late last year, the coalition petitioned the Finance Minister in an open letter urging the government to proceed with a proposed carbonated drinks tax.

“The coalition considers the tax a protective measure for Nigeria’s poorest, a population that stands to benefit the most from reduced consumption of sugary beverages. Tax revenue can be used to curtail the rising burden of disease on the poor and the nation’s healthcare system,” she stated.

Recall that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had last week, announced new excise duty on sugar-sweetened beverages.

She stated at a public presentation of the 2022 budget in Abuja that an excise tax of N10 per litre would now be imposed on non-alcoholic, carbonated and sweetened beverages.

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