Group urges FG to earmark tax for tobacco control

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The Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA) has urged the Federal Government to begin the process of earmarking a significant fraction of tobacco taxes and levies for tobacco control and national health coverage.

The NTCA Project Coordinator, Mr Oluwaseun Esan, who gave the advice on while briefing Journalists in Abuja described earmarking of a fraction of the revenue accruable from tobacco taxes and levies as one of the best practices effective for the promotion of public health.

He said that about 30 countries from all regions of the world earmarked tobacco tax revenues for health purposes and that had given them outstanding results in public health.

“The WHO recommended the use of tobacco taxes to fund healthcare programmes in its World Health Report 2010, which focused on health systems financing, recognising that the use of even a small proportion of the revenues for health will greatly improve access to services,” he explained.

Esan said that the National Tobacco Control Act 2015 provided for the setting up of the tobacco control fund to implement the National Tobacco Control Regulations.

“Nigeria has approved the tobacco control regulations which will make it possible for the Federal Ministry of Health to implement and enforce the Nigeria Tobacco Control Act, 2015.

“We ask that the Federal Government to start the process of earmarking a significant fraction of tobacco taxes and levies for tobacco control and national health coverage,” he said.

According to him, the National Tobacco Control Act 2015 provides for the setting up of the tobacco control fund and up till now it has not been implemented.

Peace PIAK