As part of efforts by the Federal Government of Nigeria to control the increasing rate of non-communicable diseases(NCD).
The ministry of health has inaugurated the Sugar Sweetened Beverages tax.
SSB includes any liquid that is sweetened with various forms of added sugar like corn syrup, fructose, glucose, honey, lactose, malt syrup and sucrose, including carbonated drinks, energy drinks and milk-based drinks, pre-sweetened teas, coffees and juice drinks.
This was contained in an open address by the Director Public Health of the Ministry, Dr. Chukwuma Anyaike, in his opening address at the inaugural meeting of the ad-hoc committee organised by the NCDs division of the Federal Ministry of Health, yesterday in Abuja, said, “The terms of reference of the committee will include but are not limited to ‘working to expand the scope of the SSB tax to include a wide range of sugary drinks, determine most effective option for legislative framework, and to examine the current perceptions of the opportunities and barriers for SSB health taxes.”
Non communicable diseases remain the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa. According to Dr Chukwuma , Nigeria will be emulating countries who have recorded succes in the policy, he 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 retall price on all SSBs as the current 10 naira per litre 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.
The Director of Public health expressed concerns over the excessive consumption of sugar- sweetened beverages which has become a public health concern and threat to future generations as its consumption is high among children and adolescents.