BusinessDay

CSEA insists on legislative review of Tobacco Taxation

Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa, CSEA, has insisted that the Tobacco Control implementation policy in Nigeria be reviewed, to curb consumption.
Speaking during an inception meeting for a project on fostering Effective Tobacco control policy implementation policy in Nigeria, the executive director, CSEA, Chukwuka Onyekwena, lamented that despite the adverse health implication of Tobacco, Nigeria had not effectively implemented the international Tobacco Taxation Policy.
“We are still far below the World Health Organisation, WHO, recommended bench bank in terms of tobacco taxation, we really should increase the exercise taxation further in order to meet the mandate”.
“Tobacco is one of the non-communicable disease that has been very damaging to health. The fiscal policy to control tobacco usage has been weak.”
Also speaking on the weakness of the legislature with regard to tobacco control, the programme officer of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy centre, CISLAC, Austin Erameh revealed how unfavourable the legislature is on taxation levied on local producers who are not willing to pay and foreign producers who on the order hand are not charged for exercise duty.
“We still have some faculty legislation, legislation has been a great bottleneck to driving many things. When you look at the economic on it, an importer can maximize his profit by not paying exercise tax where as someone who is producing locally and has contributed to the economy by employment, providing wealth for lots of people and even infrastructure at the end of the day is that same person that is been taxed”.
“For government to impose tax is one of the simplest thing but when there are bottle neck, its something we need to think of.”
Also while speaking at the meeting, the assistant director, Technical, service federal ministry of Finance, Basheer Abdulkadir revealed that Nigeria is charging N85 below the directives given by ECOWAS.
“ECOWAS has a directive that there should be a mix of both specific and ad valorem. The add Valorem should be 50 percent not less than 50 per cent of the UCA, then the specific should be 0.02 percent.  So in naira, that will translate to N6 per stick for a packet of 20 sticks, that is N120″.
“If you take an average UCA in Nigeria which is N60 then do the 50 percent of it that is N30. N120 specific, N30 ad valorem =N150. Considering what we are charging, we charged 32 naira in 2018, in 2019 it is N52 in 2020 its going to be N70, we area still N80 short N150.

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