The National Action on Sugar Reduction (NASR), a coalition of non-governmental organisations, has tasked the federal government of Nigeria to introduce a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to combat health crises.

This is contained in a statement issued by Omei Bongos-Ikwue, the coalition representative, in Abuja on Monday. According to Bongos-Ikwue, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and heart-related disease are on the rise in Nigeria.

She noted that the link between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and NCDs had been well established.

Ms Bongos-Ikwue said, “The NASR thus seeks policies to decrease consumption and reduce related risk factors, such as obesity. The Federal Ministry of Finance has stated the need to explore alternative revenue sources, and Federal Ministry of Health considers NCD prevention a national priority, this could be an opportunity.”

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Ms Bongos-Ikwue mentioned that NASR was stepping up efforts to seek a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages and engaging in further awareness creation efforts to tackle the rising prevalence of NCDs.

 

“The coalition specifically called on the Minister of Finance to introduce an excise duty of 20 per cent on sugar-sweetened beverages such as carbonated sugary drinks and energy drinks,” said the coalition’s statement.

“Create a fund for the prevention and control of NCDs associated with the excessive consumption of sugar-linked diseases such as type II diabetes. Financing for this fund will come from the revenue obtained from the taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages.”

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