The Federal Ministry of Health has announced its intention to increase the tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSB) from the current 10 percent rate to 20 percent.
At the pro-health tax policy campaign on SSB, held at the Federal Ministries of Finance and Health, in Abuja on Tuesday, Dr. Chukwuma Anyaike, Director/Head, Public Health Department, Federal Ministry of Health, said that the plan aims to address the problem of rising sugar consumption.
It was revealed that the tax increase is meant to reduce the intake of processed sugar, carbonated drinks and thereby promote healthier choices among the citizens.
“Taxation on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages has been successfully implemented in other countries like Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Portugal, and others to reduce the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks by their populace.
“The introduction and sustenance of the tax in Nigeria will 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 litre price fails to achieve that.”
Sugar related diseases have been on a surge in recent times and it has prompted countries like Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, and Portugal to readjust their tax system to align with the World Health Organization’s (WHO, recommended SSB tax of 20 percent.