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Coalition Seeks Increased Taxes On Soft Drinks

By Adedayo Said

A coalition, the National Action on Sugar Reduction (NASR) has rejected the calls by the manufacturers of beverages for the federal government to remove the tax regime on carbonated drinks in the country.

The coalition during a protest on Wednesday in Abuja urged the government to rather increase taxes on sugary drinks and invest the revenue into public health.

The coalition spokesperson, Omei Bongos-Ikwue, noted that the N10 per litre excise tax on non-alcoholic, carbonated and sweetened beverages was passed through the 2021 Finance Act.

She explained that the consumption of sugary drinks was a risk factor for diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

 “Soft drink sales in Nigeria are the 4th highest in the world, with nearly 40 million litres sold each year. This amounts to billions in profit each year at the expense of public health,” She said.

The coalition said that the industry paid 50 per cent in Qatar, yet the high rate had not led to an industry collapse, adding that increasing taxes would benefit the nation’s health without causing economic losses to the industry.

She added that the taxes would be beneficial to the poor, who suffered the most from the high financial cost of non-communicable diseases.

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