Coalition: Sugar-filled drink taxes will benefit impoverished Nigerians


Coalition: Sugar-filled drink taxes will benefit impoverished NigeriansAccording to the National Action on Sugar Reduction (NASR) Coalition, levies on alcoholic beverages and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) will benefit Nigeria's impoverished and destitute citizens.

The coalition's position was restated by Dr. Alhassan Umar, the Co-Chairman of NASR, in a statement he signed and provided to reporters on Saturday in Abuja.

The NASR coalition had consistently maintained that high levies on alcohol and sugar-filled beverages would deter Nigerians from purchasing these goods.

It had always maintained that high tariffs on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and alcoholic beverages would not only deter Nigerians from purchasing them, but also lessen the burden of non-communicable diseases including diabetes, hypertension, and other conditions linked to a diet high in sweets.

In addition, the statement added that trade groups, CSOs, and NGOs had recently been invited to a stakeholder meeting with the Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee to examine methods to implement tax reforms that would accelerate Nigeria's economic growth.

According to the statement, Taiwo Oyedele, the chairman of the group, stated during the meeting that the committee's primary goal was to tax the wealthiest 1% of the population, rather than introducing any new taxes, in order to lessen the tax burden on Nigerians.

He says that this is more efficient and will eventually bring in more money. According to the statement, Oyedele stated at the meeting that countries with comparable tax laws have experienced faster rates of economic growth and revenue generation.

He reiterated the committee's resolve to find locally created solutions suitable for the task at hand. The chairman of the committee went on to say that the goal of the fiscal policy and tax reforms committee is to increase the Nigerian people's trust in government and transparency.

Additionally, according to the statement, Mr. Runcie Chidebe, the Executive Director of Project Pink Blue (PPB) and a member of the NASR coalition, stated that sugar-filled drink tariffs were necessary to lessen the burden on the underprivileged.

Chidebe claims that the SSB tax is a pro-health fiscal policy since it levies a tax on things that are damaging to health rather than on the poor.

He said that by lowering their risk of major illnesses and discouraging them from consuming sugar-filled beverages, it would directly safeguard the impoverished.

"I'm worried about why we shouldn't impose taxes on the impoverished; we need to implement tax laws to safeguard the weak."Because they are more likely to eat processed, sugar-filled foods (SSBs) and have lower socioeconomic position, many impoverished people are more likely to develop diabetes and other non-communicable diseases.

"There is evidence that implementing SSB taxes results in a healthier population, and the NASR coalition contends that not implementing the SSB tax is counterproductive to public and preventive health practices," Chidebe stated.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the World Health Organization (WHO) has released a report suggesting increased levies on sugar-filled beverages in order to promote healthy eating habits and avert non-communicable illnesses and fatalities.

According to NAN, the nation's efforts to achieve universal health care will be aided by the NASR coalition's recommendation that the money raised by the sugary drink levy be allocated to health coverage.

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