Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has issued a compelling call to the Nigerian government, urging them to take decisive action against the rising tide of cancer-related deaths in the country. The organization’s proposed solution – an upward review of tobacco taxes – aims to curb the alarming number of deaths caused by tobacco consumption, which currently stands at a staggering 30,000 lives annually.
During a press conference themed “Tobacco Taxation Agenda Setting for President Bola Tinubu’s Administration,” CISLAC’s Executive Director, Auwal Rafsanjani, emphasized the importance of effective tax administration on tobacco products for the overall health and economic prosperity of the nation.
“We are calling on the government to raise taxes on tobacco and alcohol, which will not only benefit public health but also generate significant revenue for vital sectors like healthcare,” stated Rafsanjani.
The World Bank’s Nigerian Development Update report reveals that Nigeria could generate over N600 billion annually by increasing excise duties on tobacco and alcohol. This move would be a cost-effective strategy to promote health and finance essential development initiatives.
As one of Africa’s leading tobacco markets, CISLAC emphasizes the urgency of implementing effective tobacco tax regimes to safeguard the country’s youth and growing population from the harmful influence of the tobacco industry.
Rafsanjani also reminded President Tinubu of a critical campaign promise – to harness taxation on harmful products like tobacco and alcohol to generate resources for healthcare financing.
“The tobacco industry targets our young and growing population, so it’s crucial for the government to protect them from harmful products,” Rafsanjani added.
CISLAC’s call to action underscores the importance of shielding young people and children from the tobacco industry’s influence on tobacco control.