Transparency and Integrity


FG To Impose Special Tax On Sugary Drinks


Organizations Urge FG To Impose Tax On Sugary Beverages To Help Tackle Health Issues. 

A coalition of non-governmental organisations has urged the federal government to introduce a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to tackle the health crises.

The News Agency Of Nigeria (NAN) had reported that The National Action on Sugar Reduction (NASR), a coalition of non-governmental organisations, has urged the federal government to introduce a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to tackle the health crises.

This is contained in a statement signed by Omei Bongos-Ikwue, the coalition representative, on Monday in Abuja.

According to Ms Bongos-Ikwue, non-communicable diseases like Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease are rising in Nigeria.

She stated that the link between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and NCDs had been well established.

“The NASR thus seeks policies to decrease consumption and reduce related risk factors, such as obesity,” noted Ms Bongos-Ikwue. “The Federal Ministry of Finance has stated the need to explore alternative revenue sources, and Federal Ministry of Health considers NCD prevention a national priority, this could be an opportunity.”

Ms Bongos-Ikwue mentioned that NASR was stepping up efforts to seek a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages and engaging in further awareness creation efforts to tackle the rising prevalence of NCDs.

“The coalition specifically called on the Minister of Finance to introduce an excise duty of 20 per cent on sugar-sweetened beverages such as carbonated sugary drinks and energy drinks,” said the coalition’s statement. “Create a fund for the prevention and control of NCDs associated with the excessive consumption of sugar-linked diseases such as type II diabetes. Financing for this fund will come from the revenue obtained from the taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages.”

The coalition also wants the federal government to ensure that sugar-sweetened beverages carry “front-of-packaging labels” with nutritional information warning consumers of the product’s sugar content and “the health risks of excessively consuming these drinks.’’

MediaOrchid recalls that in October 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) urged all countries to tax sugary drinks

According to WHO tax of 20% results in a drop in sales and consumption of sugary drinks, which are driving obesity crisis and urged countries to consider introducing a sugary drinks tax as an effective way of curbing the soaring obesity rate, especially in children.

The WHO’s advice came as more and more countries are considered fiscal measures to dissuade people from buying the large quantities of colas, lemonades and other sugary soft drinks that have been identified as a major cause of the global overweight and obesity crisis.

It envisaged that this would will strengthen the hand of campaigners in countries such as Colombia, where the drinks industry has succeeded in having an anti-sugar broadcast banned. 

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