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CAPPA urges FG to stand firm beverage tax

The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) on behalf of the Sugar Sweetened Beverages Tax Coalition, has urged the federal government to stand firm…

The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) on behalf of the Sugar Sweetened Beverages Tax Coalition, has urged the federal government to stand firm in defending the health of the country by enacting the proposed N20/liter tax for Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSB) into law, with immediate application from the 1st of January, 2023.

The Executive Director, CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi made the call at a press briefing held in Lagos yesterday.

According to the executive director, the high calories and liquid sugar absorbed into the body from SSBs alters the body’s metabolism, affecting insulin, cholesterol and metabolites that in turn cause high blood pressure and inflammation is linked to the increasing rate of obesity and diabetes in the country. 

He said although the SSBs tax was introduced through the Finance Act in 2021, it did not come into force until June 2022, maintaining that the N10 /liter tax is still below the recommendations of WHO.

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He said: “Considering the dangers it poses, not only in terms of health but also the financial implications, the Nigerian government must be commended for taking this bold step.

“However, for the government to achieve its mandate on reducing the cases of non-communicable diseases through the SSB tax, the minimum recommendation by the WHO is 20% tax on the final retail price of the SSB product. The current 10 Naira/liter imposed across all SSBs has easily been absorbed by the producers. Same with the proposed N20 being proposed. Even at N20 /liter, we are still behind the WHO recommendation.”

The Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax Coalition therefore urged the government not to succumb to ‘cheap blackmail’ from the industry.

Oluwafemi urged the government to institute a sustainable legal framework, beyond the yearly Finance Act process, for SSB tax with clear timelines for attaining the WHO recommended 20% of retail price.

 

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