FG Inaugurates Ad-hoc Committee on SSBs Tax to Tackle NCDs

To improve and protect the health of Nigerians, the Federal Ministry of Health has inaugurated the Ad- Hoc Committee on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax to ensure the sustainability and effective implementation of the SSBs Tax in the country.

 The inaugural meeting of the committee organised by the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Division of the Federal Ministry of Health had representatives of different Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government with crucial roles to play in the implementation of the SSBs tax towards tackling Nigeria’s rising NCDs burden.

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 In his opening remarks delivered by Mrs. Etta Nneka, Director of Public Health Department, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Chukwuma Anyaike, said the ad-hoc committee ‘will be responsible for addressing excess consumption of SSBs through actualising comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable implementation strategies of SSB tax regime’.

 He said the committee’s terms of reference will include, but not limited to ‘working to expand the scope of the SSBs tax to include a wide range of sugary drinks, determine the most effective option for legislative framework and to examine the current perceptions of the opportunities and barriers for SSBs health taxes.’

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 The SSB Tax ad-hoc committee, which was inaugurated on Thursday, August 24, 2023, will also advise the Risk Factor Sub-committee of the National Committee on Non-Communicable Diseases.

 While appreciating the stakeholders, he commended the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) and other partners working to ensure significant improvement on Nigeria’s public health index.

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Also speaking, National Coordinator for the Non-Communicable Diseases Division of the Ministry, Dr. Deborah Odoh, noted that “frequent consumption of SSB is associated with increased incidence of dental cavities, tooth decay and obesity. Obesity is in turn a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus, heart disease, stroke, and hypertension, SSB consumption has also been linked to some forms of cancer.”

 Partners at the meeting applauded the Federal Ministry of Health for moving forward in the fight against NCDs through effective taxation, as they fight back the blackmail and threat of SSBs industry players.

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 Speaking at the inauguration, Executive Director of CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi, commended the Federal Government for setting up the committee, saying it is a bold step towards protecting public health through evidence-based policies.

 He urged members of the committee to immediately begin work on providing the much-needed framework for effective implementation of SSBs tax in Nigeria and for increase of the tax to be at par with global benchmark of 20 percent of the final retail price.

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Joshua Okoria

Joshua Okoria is a Lagos based multi-skilled journalist covering the maritime industry. His ICT and graphic design skills makes him a resourceful person in any modern newsroom. He read mass communication at the Olabisi Onabanjo University and has sharpened his knowledge in media practice from several other short courses. 07030562600,

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