Daily Trust

Why sugar-sweetened beverages tax should be N130 per litre

- By Abbas Jimoh

The Corporate Accountabi­lity and Public Participat­ion Africa (CAPPA) has called for an immediate upward review of the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) tax from the current N10 to N130 per litre.

Executive Director of the CAPPA, Mr Akinbode Oluwafemi, made the call in Abuja at the public presentati­on of the simulation study of the 46page ‘Potential Fiscal and Public Health Effects of SSB tax in Nigeria’ on Tuesday.

He said the call became imperative due to the real economic cost of overconsum­ption of SSBs and on public health and citizens’ well-being.

The event was organised by CAPPA in collaborat­ion with the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA) and Gatefield among others.

Oluwafemi said going by the current inflation rate, the N10 per litre imposed on SSBs in 2021 is today possibly worth less than 4kobo because it was a fixed tax, not adjustable to inflation.

“The findings of this study have shown that at a minimum of N130/litre, we will see a significan­t drop in consumptio­n and a decrease in Nigeria’s consumptio­n-fueled diseases.

“I am further convinced that this document provides the government, including the executive and lawmakers, the muchneeded data to pursue this policy pathway to a logical conclusion for the benefit of all,” he said.

The Nigerian Coordinato­r, Food Policy Programme (GHAI) Joy Amafah, in her remarks, said, “At GHAI, we are hopeful that the report from this study will be useful to everyone in addressing health concerns around excessive consumptio­n of SSBs, the decision-makers, advocates, consumers and the media.”

Also, the Director, Public Health Department, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Chukwuma Anyaike, said the frequent consumptio­n of SSBs is associated with the increased incidence of dental cavities, tooth decay and obesity.

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