The Federal Government says it will increase excise tax on tobacco products from 30 percent ad-valorem to 50 percent as part of measures to control tobacco smoking in the country.
Dr. Mangai Malau, Head, of the Tobacco Control Unit, non-communicable Disease Division, Federal Ministry of Health, disclosed this on Tuesday, at the National Tobacco Control Budget Advocates Meeting in Abuja.
Malau presented a paper titled “Overview of Tobacco Control Funding/Budgeting in Nigeria: Why Tobacco Control Budgeting and Funding?”
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He said that presently, the Federal Government imposed a 30 percent tax on tobacco products but its target was to increase it to 50 percent in order to meet the World Health Organization (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) recognizes this and clearly stipulates it in Article 26.
“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.
“Section eight of the Act provides for the Tobacco Control Fund, which shall be used to fund tobacco control activities programmes, and projects,” Malau said.