The Federal Government revealed that the N10 per litre sugar tax on beverages introduced in the recent Finance Act would be used to invest in Nigeria’s public health facilities to fight the spread of non-communicable diseases.
This was disclosed by the Minister of State for Health, Sen. Adeleke Mamora, on Tuesday at the first Webinar Series on Nigeria Pro-Health Taxes, themed, “Does Nigeria Need Sugar Tax?”, organized by the Nigeria Health Watch, in partnership with the National Action on Sugar Reduction (NASR), Healthcare Federation of Nigeria, and the Nigeria Cancer Society.
The Minister also added that the primary aim of the tax is to also reduce the consumption of sugary beverages in Nigeria.
What the minister is saying about the sugar tax
He disclosed that the new tax was “introduced to raise excise duties and revenues for health-related and other critical expenditures in line with the 2022 budget priorities and to discourage excessive consumption of sugar in beverages, which contributes to obesity, diabetes and other diseases.
“The government is working hard to ensure that resources from the pro-health tax were reinvested in public health to help reduce the burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Nigeria.”
The wife of the Governor of Kebbi State, Mrs Zainab Bagudu, added that the sugar-tax policy had shown that Nigeria is in sync with the rest of the world to reduce sugar-related illnesses.
“Policy is always the beginning, having the right policy in place is what pushes us to advocate and make the necessary interventions to improve the health population.
“It is also important that we look at the political will for this policy to scale up health outcomes,” she said.
She urged that Nigeria needs to ensure that the revenue derived from the sugar tax is used directly in the health sector, especially on the indigent population, citing that underserved communities who have greater health needs will be prioritised.
What you should know about sugar tax
Nairametrics reported earlier this month that the Federal Government through the Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, Zainab Ahmed announced the introduction of excise duty of N10 per litre on all non-alcoholic, carbonated and sweetened beverages in the country.
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria also called on the FG to halt the planned N10 naira per litre tax on sweetened and non-alcoholic beverages (Sugar Tax) which was proposed by the Finance Minister as part of its recent Domestic Revenue Mobilisation.
The revenue aspirations of the government in introducing this excise may not be justified in the long run.”
“It will raise production costs, which in turn adversely affect production levels and intimately result in dwindling profits,” MAN added.
Taiwo Oyedele, Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader, PwC, at the Nigerian Economic Outlook 2022 stated that the planned N10 naira per litre tax on sweetened and non-alcoholic beverages (Sugar Tax) as part of its recent Domestic Revenue Mobilisation may see an increase in the retail cost of beverages by 5%.
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