By Sarauniya G Usman,Abuja
A Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) National Action on Sugar Reduction (NASR) has called for citizens sensitisation on the harmful effects of consumption of too much ‘sugar sweetened Beverages’.
NASR representative, Omei Bongos, said there needs to create more awareness to highlight the poor effects of drinking SSBs on health.
Bongos said this on the sidelines of the National Assembly’s consideration of placing tax on SSB during it’s plenary.
This motion, presented by Hon Abubakar Naralaba, Chair House Committee on Pilgrims Affairs, indicated that SSBs pose harm to the health of Nigerians, and that citizens have a right to be protected from these harms.
Noting also that Nigeria is the fourth-highest SSB consuming country in the world, the motion proposed a 5 to 10 per cent exercised tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.
This tax, as stated in the motion, would be aimed at discouraging SSB consumption and preventing its damaging health effects such as type 2 diabetes.
The motion also included a proposal to mandate the labeling of beverage packaging to make clear the health risks linked to the consumption of SSBs.
Bongos speaking said ‘This is a good step forward for healthy food policy in Nigeria, but there remains much more to be done.’
“There’s needs for more awareness to highlight the poor effects of drinking SSBs on health.
“A tax will be part of a comprehensive package of interventions to tackle non-communicable diseases, NCDs, like hypertension, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.”
NASR is a coalition of non-governmental organisations advocating for policy measures to tackle the health risks of consuming SSBs.
Speaking in agreement with Bongos, the Secretary General of Diabetes Association of Nigeria (Co-Chair of the NASR Coalition),
Mr Bernard Enyia, said he had come to realise the irreversible damage SSB has on people.
” As a Nigerian living with type 2 diabetes I have come to realise that SSBs cause irreversible damage to people who drink them.
“This damage includes complications and premature death, and as such all producers and marketers of these products are culpable.
“The “5 to 10 per cent being considered by the national assembly as excise duty will compel the producers of these beverages to respond quickly and also encourage citizens to make healthier choices.
The proceeds of the tax can be used to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases as a national response to their prevention and control,”Enyia said.
It would be recalled that on Tuesday June 9, 2021The House of Assembly, during its plenary on Tuesday 8 June, considered a motion to formulate a tax policy on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in Nigeria.
Noting that Nigeria is the fourth-highest SSB consuming country in the world, the motion proposed a 5 to 10 per cent exercise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.
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