The Global Health Advocacy Incubator’s (GHAI) Healthy Food Policy Advocacy Fund has said the newly implemented excise duty of N10 per litre on non-alcoholic and sweetened beverages will save over 12 million Nigerians from obesity and related sicknesses.
Advocacy and External Engagement Specialist at Gatefield Impact, Shirley Ewang, who spoke at the weekend in Abuja, applauded President Muhammadu Buhari, the Ministries of Finance and Health for recognising the importance of healthy food policies and tax on Nigeria’s wellbeing.
According to her, the tax will encourage decreased consumption, raise government revenue and prove to be a critical tool in the fight of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) epidemic in the country.
She noted that the implementation of healthy food policies, including SSB taxes, helps to curb the globally growing rates of obesity, diabetes and other diet-related non-communicable diseases.
Ewang said: “A study published in the Lancet Planetary Health in 2020 showed that South Africa’s SSB tax was effective in reducing consumption and purchases of taxed beverages within a year of going into effect. According to a study published by the University of Washington, Seattle saw a 20 per cent decrease in consumption after it implemented an SSB tax in January 2018, and the decrease in low-income communities was even more significant.
“We are thrilled about this development. The SSB tax is a win for public health and the Nigerian people. Gatefield has benefited from the collaborative endeavours of diverse stakeholders, including members of our National Action on Sugar Reduction (NASR) coalition, other public health groups and the academic research community, in achieving this historic milestone.”
She hinted that the introduction of the tax had spurred continuing advocacy efforts towards protecting the duty besides ensuring its implementation and educating the public to gain greater understanding and support for the new dispensation and benefits.