The Co-chairman, the Nationwide Motion on Sugar Discount, Dr. Adamu Alhassan Umar, has known as on the Senate President Ahmad Lawan to prioritise the nation’s public well being by supporting the rise of the tax on sugar-sweetened drinks.
Recall that leaders from the beverage trade appeared earlier than the Senate President Ahmad Lawan final week with claims that the tax is jeopardising their trade.
However Umar, who can be the President, Nigeria Most cancers Society, in an announcement he issued in Abuja on Wednesday, stated the well being advantages that accrue from SSBs tax enhance will undoubtedly serve the nation’s poorest and foster financial prosperity.
He additionally debunked the declare that sugary drink taxes would result in financial losses or falling income.
Umar stated: “The Nationwide Motion on Sugar Discount coalition calls on Senate President Ahmad Lawan to prioritise the nation’s public well being by supporting the rise of the tax on sugar-sweetened drinks. The well being advantages that accrue from this may undoubtedly serve the nation’s poorest and foster financial prosperity.
“Final week, in an try to train the ten naira per litre sweetened beverage tax from the Finance Act, leaders from the beverage trade appeared earlier than Senate President Ahmad Lawan and made claims that the tax is jeopardising their trade. The beverage trade goes to nice lengths to guard its income, and the claims that the excise taxes will collapse it are completely unfounded.
“The tender drink trade has lengthy prevented paying excise taxes, despite the fact that different health-harming commodities like tobacco and alcohol have been topic to taxation. Sugar-sweetened drinks are dangerous to well being; taxes will encourage folks to eat much less and defend their well being. Tender drinks are the main supply of added sugar within the food regimen. They’re filled with energy and supply no vitamin to the physique. The truth is, they negatively have an effect on the physique’s well being by rising weight problems and the danger of non-communicable ailments (NCDs) like coronary heart illness and sort 2 diabetes.
“Sugar-sweetened beverage taxes make sense for public well being. It is just proper that the beverage trade pays taxes to cowl the destructive externalities that the well being system is pressured to bear because of their merchandise’ NCD-inducing qualities. NCDs account for one in three deaths in Nigeria. One of many greatest issues with NCDs is that once they strike, they normally final for the rest of the affected person’s life.
“The beverage producers talked about none of this throughout their presentation to the Senate. The problem on the desk was revenue, trade revenue. In making unsubstantiated claims of financial losses, the beverage trade has firmly established that it bears little regard for public well being.There is no such thing as a proof that sugary drink taxes result in financial losses or falling income. In locations the place sugar-sweetened drinks have been taxed, the trade has continued to generate income.
“South Africa and Mexico supply clear examples. Even Nigeria’s alcohol trade, despite taxation, posted huge income up to now quarter. Nigeria is the fifth most cost-effective place for tender drinks on this planet. Tender drinks are accessible and reasonably priced. It’s these elements that make them harmful. With no forces to restrain consumption, it’s going to happen in extra and endanger public well being.
“Beverage producers refuse to confess their merchandise have catastrophic results on well being, and proceed to market them with out concern for the destructive results on public well being and on the economic system. If SSB taxes are eliminated, Nigeria’s city poor will come out the worst as a result of they are going to proceed to purchase tender drinks that hurt their well being and find yourself with ailments that neither their meagre private funds nor the nation’s underfunded well being system will have the ability to afford.”
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