FG To Increase Tax On Tobacco Products To 50%
he federal government says it will increase excise tax on tobacco products from 30 per cent ad-valorem to 50 per cent as part of measures to control tobacco smoking in the country.
Mangai Malau, the head of the federal health ministry’s tobacco control unit, disclosed this on Tuesday at the National Tobacco Control Budget Advocates Meeting in Abuja.
Mr Malau said the government imposed a 30 per cent tax on tobacco products, but its target was to increase to 50 per cent to meet the World Health Organisation (WHO) standard.
According to him, funding for tobacco control must come majorly from taxation, and there is also a need for relevant stakeholders to apply tax measures rightly if they are to address the issues of tobacco control in the country.
“In effectively controlling tobacco and tobacco products in Nigeria, funding is a critical component. The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) recognises this and clearly stipulates in Article 26,” the official stated.
Mr Malau added, “It states that parties shall provide financial support in respect of its national activities intended to achieve the objective of the convention, in accordance with its national plans, priorities and programmes. It is also important to state that funding is a major provision of the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act.”
He explained that tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke is a leading cause of mortality, morbidity, disability and impoverishment worldwide.
“It is the greatest risk factor for non-communicable diseases like hypertension, stroke, cancers, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases,” stated Mr Malau.