Nigerians to pay more for soft drinks and drinks as FG implements sugar tax

The federal government has started the implementation of the sugar tax of 10 naira per liter on soft drinks and carbonated drinks.

According to the Chief Superintendent of Customs, Department of Excise, Free Trade Zones and Industrial Incentives, Dennis Ituma, the tax would help in the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

He spoke at a policy breakfast held in Abuja over the weekend.

The event was organized by the National Action on Sugar Reduction (NASR) to propose ways to implement fiscal and other interventions to reduce consumption of sugary drinks (SSB) in Nigeria.

The implementation comes despite calls from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and some concerned stakeholders who have called on the government to halt the policy introduced in the Finance Act, signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on 31 December 2021.

In a statement, NASR’s 12-member coalition representative, Omei Bongos-Ikwue, quoted the customs official as saying services had started.

“The N10 per liter of sugary drinks was implemented on June 1, by July 21 all excise duty must have been collected and paid to the federation account. It should interest you that taxation of SSBs was federal government policy in 1984 but was discontinued in January 2009.

“Previously, sugary drinks, alcoholic beverages and tobacco were all taxed until 2009 when sugary drinks were removed from taxable drinks,” he said.

Members of NASR are Diabetes Association of Nigeria, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Nigeria Cancer Society, Breast Without Spot, Lafiya Wealth Initiative, TalkHealth9ja, Nigeria Health Watch, Project PINK BLUE, Sustainable Development Initiative, African Youth Initiative on Population, Health and Development (AfrYPoD), Bundies Care Initiative and Nigerian Heart Foundation.

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