In a bid to combat the growing problem of tobacco smoking in the country, the Nigerian Government has announced plans to increase the excise tax on tobacco products. The current tax rate of 30% ad-valorem will be raised to 50%, which aligns with the World Health Organization’s standard.
Dr. Mangai Malau, Head of the Tobacco Control Unit in the Federal Ministry of Health, made the announcement at the National Tobacco Control Budget Advocates Meeting in Abuja. During the meeting, Malau emphasized the importance of proper funding for tobacco control, stating that taxation must be the primary source of funding.
Malau presented a paper titled, “Overview of Tobacco Control Funding/Budgeting in Nigeria: Why Tobacco Control Budgeting and Funding?” which highlighted the need for relevant stakeholders to apply tax measures effectively in order to address the issue of tobacco control in the country.
The government’s decision to increase the excise tax on tobacco products is a step in the right direction. With proper funding and implementation of tobacco control measures, the country can reduce the health risks associated with tobacco smoking and improve the overall well-being of its citizens.