SSB Sugar Coalition research intake
The federal government plans to increase SSB tax from 10% to 20%.

Coalition Escalates Call for 20% SSB Tax

The National Action on Sugar Reduction Coalition has intensified its advocacy for a 20 per cent increase in sugar-sweetened beverages in Nigeria.

The coalition noted that the additional revenue is earmarked to alleviate the burden of non-communicable diseases in the healthcare sector.

The NASR is a coalition of health organisations advocating for a tax increase on SSBs and policies to tackle the rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases in Nigeria.

In a statement signed by the President of the Nigeria Cancer Society, and co-chair of the coalition, Dr Adamu Umar, on Wednesday, it was noted that failure to address the health issues caused by SSB consumption will result in costly treatments, lost income, and reduced productivity, pushing millions into poverty and hindering development.

The coalition insists that increasing SSB taxes is essential for promoting healthier lifestyles and reducing the prevalence of NCDs such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and kidney failure

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), NCDs are a significant health problem in Nigeria, and the age-standardised mortality rate across four major NCDs (cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, cancer, and diabetes) was 565 per 100,000 in males and 546 in females in 2021.

WHO said, “Nigeria has implemented efforts on the NCD progress indicators in areas including the NCD policy and plan, tobacco taxes, tobacco advertising bans, tobacco health warnings, and alcohol taxes, however, there is limited progress against a subset of the indicators.

Umar said, “There remain huge gaps in health financing. In Nigeria, poor and vulnerable populations cannot afford the high cost of managing NCDs, yet they are the ones who often depend on SSBs for sustenance.

“Higher SSB taxes would be a win for public health and the economy. The higher SSB tax will generate substantial revenue tax for the government and reduce consumption among the populace.

“Only a tax rate that increases the price of sugary beverages by at least 20 per cent of the final retail price will truly impact public health by discouraging consumption. Nigeria’s current excise tax on sweetened beverages falls below WHO standards for effective health impact.”