Connect with us

Metro

NICA raises concern over 20b cigarate sticks being consumed by Nigerians annually

Published

on

Spread the love

NICA raises concern over 20b cigarate sticks being consumed by Nigerians annually

By John Akubo

The Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NICA) is raising alarm over the danger posed by the whooping 20 billion sticks of cigarettes being consumed by Nigerians annually andits attendant health complications.
The Alliance is also worried about the mild taxation on Tobacco by Nigeria which has sustained over 5.6% of Nigerian population as active smokers
The alliance which gave the figure of a whooping 20 billion sticks of cigarettes being smoked annually said it is more concerned that the country is still playing with the lives of Nigerians by not raising the taxation of tobacco products.
Board Chairman Mr Akinbode Oluwafemi said the high rate of active smokers in the country is a very huge market but what the industry would not tell
is the percentage of people that are dying as a result of the smoking. “If you look at the rising cases of cancer, of all tobacco related ailments and the cost of treating those diseases by Government, economically putting higher taxes on Tobacco products specifically is a win-win situation for Nigeria.
He said the simulation has been done all over the world that even when you are making revenue you are gaining at the public health.
“What is happening in the case of Nigeria is that the country is subsidizing smoking. The WHO recommended 70% so that the prize of tobacco products can go high, rather we have a mild tax regime, that is encouraging the tobacco companies to move from everywhere they are to come and site their factories in Nigeria.
These are companies that are into sales of products that kills thereby putting the health of our people in jeopardy and when you put their health in jeopardy you are also affecting the economy of your country because half of the population of people that smoke are going to die.”

According to him, In October 2005. Nigeria ratified the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
“The framework recommended many effective ways of controlling tobacco in Its various stages and protecting public health.”
He said uptil date a lot of the recommendations of the FCTC which Nigeria is a signatory to is yet to be implemented by Nigeria.
Explaining further he said one of the recommendations of the FCTC is about 70% tax increase while Nigeria is currently around 20%.
“When effectively implemented, the FCTC is a fundamental tool to reducing the devastating global consequences of tobacco products on health, lives, economies and environments

Hence, he asked Nigerian Government to earmark a fraction of the revenue accruable from tobacco taxes and levies as one of the best practices effective for the promotion of public health.
“About 30 countries from all regions of the world earmark tobacco tax revenues for health purposes and that has given them outstanding results In public health.

“The WHO recommended the use of tobacco taxes to fund healthcare programmes in its World Health Report 2010, which focused on health systems financing, recognizing that the use of even a small proportion of the revenues for health would greatly improve access to services (WHO. 2010).”
He however, decried the fact that the Nigeria 2018 budget allocated 3.9% to health which is a great reduction from the AU Abuja declaration of 2001 where at least 15% of the budget was declared.
“This shows a critical underfunding of the crucial health sector; tobacco tax earmarking provide an easier solution to this problem. “
He gave examples to include, Iceland, Iran, Switzerland and Viet Nam that earmark for Tobacco control, Algeria earmarked for cancer control and other health programmes.

Others are Costa Rica, Nepal and Panama that earmarked for Non-Communicable Diseases Including tobacco control.
He said Congo, Egypt and Philippines earmarked for Health insurance and Universal Health coverage.
“Other examples of tobacco tax earmarking include Argentina, Bangladesh, Cape Verde, Colombia, Comoros, Cote d’lvoire, Elsavador, Guatemala, India, Jamaica, Korea, Madagascar, Korea, Thailand and USA; all these countries and more earmarks for health programmes.”
He indicated that earmarking provides a great opportunity for Low and Middle Income countries to make a huge progress in the development of the health sector and indeed for more effective tobacco control efforts. “Inadequate funding has been the bane of tobacco control in Nigeria over the years and the time has come for Nigeria to face this challenge headlong by earmarking for tobacco control.

He said now that Nigeria has approved the tobacco control regulations which will make it possible for the Federal Ministry of Health to implement and enforce the Nigeria Tobacco Control Act, 2015; they are asking that it should commence the process of earmarking a significant fraction of tobacco taxes and levies for tobacco control and national health coverage.
The chairman also called on the Government to set up and ensure the continuous funding of the national tobacco control fund in line with the national Tobacco control Act 2015 provided for the setting up of the tobacco control fund.
“That way we can be sure that tobacco control efforts by the Government can be effective, sustainable and impactful.”

Continuing he said, “We will never be tired of asking the Government to continue to significantly increase tobacco taxes. The present tax regime is insignificant and insufficient to lead to price increases and will definitely not reduce consumption.
“The Government must significantly increase tobacco tax to be at par with the WHO recommended level of 70% of the retail price over the next five years.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Metro

How Govt’s House Lafia runs on almost 24hrs generator, by Gov Sule

Published

on

By

Spread the love

How Govt’s House Lafia runs on almost 24hrs generator, by Gov Sule

From Daniel Abel, Lafia

Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule, has expressed dismay over the epileptic power in the State that has even forced the Govetnment House, Lafia to be on 24hour generator.

This he said is occasioned by avoidable delays in the completion of the 330 KV power sub station in Akurba.
In his words,
“The Government House is on generator for almost 24 hours. It does not make sense, especially at a period like this when people should be saving.

The Governor expressed the displeasure shortly after inspecting progress of work at the site of the project, on Wednesday.

Engineer Sule was particular about the poor handling of the project by contractors, as he vowed to intervene by meeting with all parties concerned to achieve speedy completion of the project.

In a chat with journalists at the site of the project, the Governor lamented over the power situation, especially in Lafia, the state capital, where residents enjoy only 1-2 hours of electricity daily, with residents left to depend on generators for power.

“A state like Nasarawa should be saving money, not wasting money on diesel and then generating power from a source that is even unhealthy even to the human body,” he stated.

Continue Reading

Metro

Zamfara government debunks reports that abducted students have regained freedom

Published

on

By

Spread the love

Zamfara government debunks reports that abducted students have regained freedom

Zamfara State Government has indicated that the over 300 Students kidnapped by Bandits are still in the den of their abductors.

Press Secretary to the Governor, Jamilu Magaji, debunked some online media reports that claimed the female students of Government Girls Science Secondary School, Jangebe have regained freedom.
He stated: “Governor Bello Matawalle and his aides have been been having sleepless nights since Friday when the girls were abducted by gunmen.

He said they have been working round the clock, making frantic efforts that will lead to the safe release of the victims.
He expressed dismay that that some persons, who do not know the details of the situation, will try to further hurt the victims’ parents, government and security by ridiculing the effort with falsehood.
“The state government will come immediately and happily inform the world as soon as the girls are released.”

Continue Reading

Metro

Marketers allay fears over fuel scarcity, ask Nigerians to stop panic buying

Published

on

By

Spread the love

Marketers allay fears over fuel scarcity, ask Nigerians to stop panic buying

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has allayed apprehension among Nigerians who may be planning to hoard the Premium Motor Spirit.

The Public Relations Officer, Suleiman Yakubu
on Sunday spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as long fuel queues were noticed at filling stations in many states and Abuja.

It was observed that some filling stations are reluctant dispense the PMS they have in stock to motorists while some have run out of supply.

Yakubu said the price of crude oil has gone up and affected the price of products.

The spokesman assured that PMS would soon be available in excess as loading had already commenced at depots.

“The government and marketers are doing everything possible to ensure that the products are available in every filling station within a few days starting from today,” he said

Continue Reading

Trending