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World Bank To FG – Increase Taxes On Alcohol, Cigarettes

The World Bank has urged the Federal Government to impose special taxes on alcohol, cigarettes, and sugar-sweetened beverages to improve primary healthcare.

Shubham Chaudhuri, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria made the call in Abuja during the special National Council on Health meeting organised by the Federal Ministry of Health on 9th December 2021.

He said, “If we want to improve healthcare in Nigeria, we need to tax the things that are killing us.

“The economic rationale for taxing these products is strong if we want to save lives and make a better and healthier Nigeria.”

Chaudhuri noted that taxes on tobacco, alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages would reduce the health risks associated with their consumption and expand fiscal space for universal health coverage post-COVID-19.

The country director stated that investing in a stronger health system for all would contribute to tackling rising poverty and inequality.

He added that health tax increases would have the additional advantage of reducing future healthcare costs by curbing the growth of non-communicable diseases that tobacco, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened beverages cause.

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