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Increase in sugar tax will kill jobs, investments – Report

A report by ThinkBusiness Africa has stated that any increase in Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) tax in Nigeria will not deliver the objective of curtailing…

A report by ThinkBusiness Africa has stated that any increase in Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) tax in Nigeria will not deliver the objective of curtailing the rise of health issues destroy the investments, revenues, and jobs in the non-alcoholic sector.

The report titled ‘ThinkBusiness Africa Insight Series April 2024: CAPPA, Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) Tax, and Fiscal Policy in Nigeria’, said the objectives of a potential staggering increase in SSBs tax in Nigeria will not be achieved based on the CAPPA report.

Recall that CAPPA had in its report canvassed for an increase in SSB tax from N10 per litre to N130 per litre which represents a 927 per cent increase in the current revenue from SSBs taxes in the country.

The report suggested that an increase in SSBs taxes from the current estimates of N68 billion to N729 billion annually is required to deliver a 5 per cent reduction in Body Mass Index (BMI) in Nigerians over a 5-year period.

The Chief Executive Officer, ThinkBusiness Africa,  Dr Ogho Okiti, asserted that his company’s  latest report is careful to stress that what the CAPPA report has established is a correlation and not causation.

“Using increases in SSBs taxes, assuming to deal with causation, when that has not been established, will not achieve the desired result but would have heaped heavy and unbearable tax burden on the Food & Beverage sector on the Nigerian economy,” he pointed out.

“It is staggering considering that the federal government’s planned health budget in 2024 is just above N1.2 trillion. If CAPPA does have its way, the government will receive about 60 per cent of its health budget from the increases in SSBs taxes. In the context, increase in SSBs taxes is not just funding the control of the growth in obesity and diabetes, but funding over half of federal government expenditure on health,” he said.

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