The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, has announced an increment in taxes on cigarettes from 20% to 30% as a measure to control the use of tobacco and its derivatives. Nigeria’s Minister of Health made the announcement at the launch of the Tobacco Control Data Initiative Dashboard in Abuja earlier this week.
About the tax
The 10% rise would set the price of a 20-stick pack of cigarettes increase from N58 to N84 with continuous increment to N94 and N104 in 2023 and 2024, respectively. And shisha will now cost N3000 per liter and N1000 per kilogram with continuous increment of N500 yearly. This tax took effect on the 1st of June 2022.
- A 2012 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), stated that 5.6% or 4.5 millions of Nigerians from 15 years and above were currently consuming tobacco products. The report further disclosed that of the 4.5 million, 3.9% or 3.1 million were smokers.
- The GATS report also found that there is a significant exposure to second-hand smoke in public places at the rate of 82% in bars or nightclubs, 36.3% in coffee shops, 22.3% in universities and 29.3% in restaurants.
- The 6th edition of the Tobacco Atlas report concluded that Nigeria suffers 26,800 annual deaths from tobacco-related diseases.
- Again, a report by the Centre for the Study of the Economics of Africa attributed 29,472 deaths in Nigeria to smoking.
Why this matters
According to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade, Nigeria Imports of Tobacco and tobacco substitutes was US$105.07 Million in 2021. This is the premise upon which the federal government developed the initiative to increase tax on tobacco and its derivatives; in order to discourage patronage by Nigerians and import of the product into the country. Consequently, the federal government also increased the tax on sugar-sweetened drinks to discourage patronage so as to reduce sugar-related diseases amongst its population.