FG urged to strictly commit sugar tax proceeds to health project – THISDAYLIVE


James Emejo in Abuja

Health sector stakeholders, including civil society groups, have called on the federal government to ensure that proceeds from the new sugary drink tax (SSB) are strictly used to fund health care projects. health intervention for the benefit of Nigerians.

THISDAY has gathered that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has since June 1, 2022 commenced the implementation and enforcement of the tax.

The federal government had introduced an excise tax of Naira 10 per liter on all soft drinks, carbonated and sugary drinks in the 2021 Finance Bill.

Stakeholders gave the charge at the policy breakfast on SSB, which was attended by high-level officials and representatives from the Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the National Assembly, the Nigerian Customs Service, the World Bank. and a coalition under the National Action on Sugar Reduction (NASR).

Their request came amid confirmation from Chief Superintendent of Customs (CSC) Dennis Ituma and CSC Opeyemi Itulua that enforcement of the regulations had begun in earnest early last month and that businesses should begin to submit the first set of appropriate taxes to the government on or before July 21.

He said Customs had met with the Ministry of Finance over the sugar tax, adding that the former had gone far in its implementation.

Ituma said the law required companies to remit soft drink taxes on a monthly basis, stressing that the revenue would then be transferred to the federation’s account.

However, reacting to stakeholders’ call for funds to be invested specifically in health projects to strengthen infrastructure, a representative of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mr. Musa Umar, pointed out that their request could not be satisfied. guaranteed at the meeting and advised them to seize higher authorities, including political leaders and the Ministry of Health, for proper attention.

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