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2022 Budget: Coalition commends Buhari for hike in sugary drinks tax

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2022 Budget: Coalition commends Buhari for hike in sugary drinks tax

By Matthew Eloyi

The National Action on Sugar Reduction, a coalition of public health organisations has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the proposed “pro-health” tax increase on soft drinks in the 2022 budget.

The commendation was given on Wednesday in Abuja, in a statement jointly signed by Bernard Enyia, the Coalition Co-chair and Secretary-General of the Diabetes Association and Vivianne Ihekweazu, Co-Chair and Managing Director of Nigeria Health Watch.

They noted that the proposed tax policy as announced by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Hadiza Ahmed, in her budget breakdown, would boost non-communicable diseases prevention in Nigeria.

“During the Public Presentation and Breakdown of the Highlights of the 2022 Appropriation Bill, the minister said the government would increase excise duties on carbonated drinks.

”We are advocating for health and fiscal policy measures to combat the devastating impact of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the country.

“The proposed increase in the taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages by 2022 is a step in the right direction.

“This is because, it will enable revenue to be generated for public health programmes, especially those targeted at addressing the rising incidence of non-communicable diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases,” they said.

According to the coalition, the possible increase in soft drink taxes aligns with the recently updated National NCDs Policy and Multisectoral Action Plan for the Control and Prevention of NCDs in Nigeria.

They said the revised National NCDs Policy include recommendations to enact new laws to increase taxes and excise duties on carbonated beverages.

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