A physician has sent a strong message to the Government on excise duty placed on carbonated drinks.
Dr Laz Eze, a public health physician and sustainable development consultant advised the government on how to spend the funds generated from the excise duty.
Eze said the funding should be used to fund health insurance. He added that the money can be used to achieve universal health coverage.
Recall that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed announced this policy.
She announced this during the public presentation of the 2022 budget.
Ahmed said that N10 per litre excise duty would be imposed on all carbonated drinks.
This new policy has been signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 31.
The Minister explained that this was a measure to reduce cases of diabetes in the country.
“There’s now an excise duty of N10 per litre imposed on all non-alcoholic and sweetened beverages.
“And this is to discourage excessive consumption of sugar in beverages.”
She said this c which contributes to a number of health conditions such as
“But it is also used to raise excise duties and revenues for health-related and other critical expenditures. This is in line also with the 2022 budget priorities.”
The Government is requested to stop advertising these products to children, PUNCH reported.
To also impose the use of warning labels on the beverages.
This is to help consumers know the product’s sugar level and health risks.
They said that millions of Nigerians have diabetes linked to the consumption of excess sugar.
“Recent studies reveal that obesity increases the mortality risk of COVID-19 by nearly 50 per cent, making it a significant mortality risk factor.
“The consumption of SSBs, commonly known as soft drinks, is strongly associated with obesity in Nigeria. Nigeria ranks the fourth highest soft drink consuming country globally, with over 40 million litres sold yearly.
“These soft drinks contain damaging sugar levels and put their consumers, mostly poor people, at grave risk.
“Children are often served soft drinks with their meals and snacks, putting them at risk of childhood obesity.”
Excise duty is the tax placed on manufactured goods within the country.
Meanwhile, the NLC has condemned this bill.
The NLC has lambasted the FG over the newly introduced N10/litre excise duty on soda drinks.
On Thursday, January 6, President Buhari-led introduced the N10/litre excise duty to control diabetes.
This was announced by the Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, Zainab Ahmed.
According to a statement released by the Minister, N10/litre excise duty has been placed on non-alcoholic carbonated and sweetened beverages otherwise known as Soda drinks.
She said that this would help control the causes of diabetes and promote healthy living.
Ahmed said the tax would also support revenues for health-related and critical expenditures.
In an article obtained from Vanguard, the stakeholders have petitioned President Buhari.
The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayubba Wabba listed those in the petition.
- President Buhari.
- Senate President
- Speaker of the House of Representatives.
- Minister of Labour and Employment.
Wabba said this new directive cost at least 15,000 losses of direct and indirect jobs. This includes casual and contracts workers.
“We have rejected the new tax on carbonated drinks because of its huge negative impacts on our sector and workers.
“The worst of it will be that of job losses.
“These companies provide both direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians from permanent to casual employees, suppliers, distributors and retailers, and all these runs into several million.
“At least, it will cost us no less than 15,000 direct and indirect jobs, including casuals and contract workers.”
Wabba explained further that this would also affect the consumer-end purchase of these drinks.
He argued in a letter sent to Vanguard in November 2021, that the Federal Government has no case.