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Health ministry backs 20% sugar tax

The Federal Ministry of Health has expressed commitment to increase the tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages from the current rate of 10 percent to 20 percent.

This is in a bid to combat the rising public health concerns associated with excessive sugar consumption.

The ministry added that the tax would deter consumers from purchasing SSBs and, instead, encourage healthier beverages as alternatives.

The Director/Head, Public Health Department, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Chukwuma Anyaike, disclosed this at the Pro-Health Tax Policy Campaign on SSB, held at the Federal Ministries of Finance and Health respectively on Tuesday, in Abuja.

She said, “Taxation on SSBs has been successfully implemented in countries like Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Portugal, and so many others to reduce the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks.

“The introduction and sustenance of the tax in Nigeria will also reduce excess consumption of SSBS and thus reduce the burden of NCDs. We are committed to attaining the global best practice of at least 20% of the final retail price on all SSBS as the current 10 naira per liter price fails to achieve that. This campaign aligns with other government efforts in improving the public health of the Nigerian populace to meet up with the global priority of significantly reducing NCDs”, she said.

 

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