Sugar-Sweetened Beverages CAPPA SSBs diabetes SSB
The federal government plans to increase SSB tax from 10% to 20%

Imposing SSB Tax ‘ll Reduce Non-Communicable Diseases — NASR

Imposing huge taxes on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and alcoholic drinks will discourage consumption and help poor indigent Nigerians from coming down with non-communicable diseases, the National Action on Sugar Reduction Coalition has said.

The Co-Chairman of NASR, Dr. Alhassan Umar, made this known in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Saturday.

He said the NASR coalition had constantly advocated for huge taxes to be imposed on SSB products, stressing that apart from discouraging Nigerians from buying, it would reduce the burden of diabetes, hypertension and other non-communicable diseases associated with the intake of sweet things.

Umar noted that the Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee recently convened a stakeholder meeting with trade associations, CSOs, and NGOs to discuss pathways for tax reforms that would boost economic growth in Nigeria.

He also said the committee’s chairman, Taiwo Oyedele, said that the committee aims to reduce the tax burden on Nigerians by primarily taxing the wealthiest one per cent of the population, rather than enacting any new taxes.

This will be more effective and ultimately result in more revenue, he said

Umar further noted that Oyedele observed that nations which enacted similar tax policies have seen higher rates of economic expansion and revenue.

He restated the committee’s commitment to identify locally developed solutions that were appropriate for the job at hand.

The fiscal policy and tax reforms committee, the chairman noted, is dedicated to enhancing confidence in government and transparency with the Nigerian people.

In the statement, it was noted that a member of the NASR coalition and the Executive Director of Project Pink Blue, Mr. Runcie Chidebe, said sugary drink taxes were essential to alleviate the burden on the poor.

He said, “The SSB tax is not a tax on the poor, it is a tax on products that are harmful to health, and thus a pro-health fiscal policy.

“I am concerned about why we should not tax the poor; we must take tax policy steps to protect the vulnerable.

“Many of the poor have lower socioeconomic status and they are more prone to consume SSB, processed foods that place them at a higher risk of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases.

”The NASR coalition contends that not implementing the SSB tax is counterproductive to public and preventive health practices, especially since there is evidence that implementing SSB taxes results in a healthier population,” Chidebe said.

Recently, the World Health Organisation issued a report recommending higher sugary drink taxes, to create healthier food environments and prevent non-communicable diseases and deaths.