In a resolute stand against the mounting public health alarms linked to excessive sugar intake, the Federal Ministry of Health has unveiled a determined commitment to escalate the tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) from the current rate of 10% to an assertive 20%.
This transformative stride aims not only to champion the cause of healthier drink preferences but to significantly curb the consumption of processed sugars and carbonated drinks, heralding a healthier future for the nation’s populace and generations yet to come.
In the wake of escalating global health concerns tied to elevated sugar consumption, including the ominous shadows of childhood obesity, diabetes, and dental afflictions, various nations, among them Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, and Portugal, have rallied to endorse the recommended global SSB tax of 20% advocated by the World Health Organization (WHO)
By intensifying the financial toll on sugar-laden products, the Ministry endeavors to dissuade consumers from embracing them and, in turn, foster a preference for healthier and more nutritious beverage alternatives.
Dr. Chukwuma Anyaike, the Director/Head of the Public Health Department within the Federal Ministry of Health, shared this pivotal development during the Pro-Health Tax Policy Campaign on SSB, an event that resonated within the halls of both the Federal Ministries of Finance and Health in Abuja.
“In the wake of successful implementation of SSB taxation in several countries including Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, and Portugal, we are poised to replicate this victory within Nigeria.
“Not only will the adoption and continuation of this tax drive diminish excessive SSB consumption, but it will also alleviate the burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs),” Dr. Anyaike affirmed.
Asserting unwavering determination, Dr. Anyaike remarked, “Our commitment echoes the global benchmark, aspiring to attain at least a 20% levy on all SSBs’ final retail price, as the current 10 naira per liter falls short of this aspiration.”
This strategic campaign complements other ongoing governmental initiatives aimed at elevating the health landscape for Nigerians and resonates with the worldwide endeavor to significantly mitigate the prevalence of NCDs.