COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF A TWO DAY WORKSHOP OF THE TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP ON TOBACCO IN NIGERIA ORGANIZED BY THE FEDERAL OF HEALTH, IN COLLABORATION WITH CIVIL SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY CENTRE (CISLAC) WITH SUPPORT FROM THE AFRICAN CAPACITY BUILDING FOUNDATION (ACBF) AND FONDATION POURLE RENFORCEEMENT DESCAPACITIES EN AFRIQUE ON 23RD – 24TH NOVEMBER 2017, NASARAWA STATE, NIGERIA
- A workshop of the Technical Working Group (TWG) on Tobacco Taxation in Nigeria was held at the Sawalino Hotel and Suites, Keffi, Nasarawa State from the 23rd – 24th of November 2017. The workshop was organized by the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), with support from the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF).
- The workshop had policy makers and tobacco taxation experts drawn from the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of budget and Planning, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the Media, International Development Partners, and the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
The under-listed is the communiqué issued at the of the workshop:
- Recognized that tobacco use remains a major threat to public health and it kills more than 7 million people globally each year of which more than 6 million are from direct tobacco use, and almost 890,000 from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke. The low and middle-income countries like Nigeria contribute 80% of the tobacco-related diseases and deaths.
- Observed that Nigeria has one of the lowest excise duty rates on finished tobacco products. The retail price of a pack of 20 sticks of cigarette of the most popular brand consists of about 20% of total taxes which is far below the WHO recommended 70% excise tax burden in the retail price.
- Noted that raising the consumer price of tobacco products by increasing tax is one of the most effective ways to reduce tobacco use; for every 10% increase in price, there is an estimated 4%-7% decrease in consumption. WHO recommends reaching or exceeding a tax rate that corresponds to least 75% of the total cigarette price.
- Observed that illicit trade in tobacco products is a real and emerging challenge in not just Nigeria but the entire West sub-region as activities of smugglers and other vested interests in tobacco industry constantly attempt to undermine national authorities in their effort to combat the menace.
- Confirmed that government is further losing revenue as activities of the tobacco industry remains unlicensed which fall short of section 29 of the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act of 2015.
- Affirmed that increased tobacco taxes can help expand government revenue base to mobilize additional resources to fund public service programmes, particularly public health financing, and a reduction in tobacco use.
- Noted that the introduction of specific excise taxes enhances the impact of Sin taxes on public health as it is easier to administer then the Ad Valorem system. The combination of the two is recommended in line with the ECOWAS draft directive on harmonization of excise duties on tabacco product in ECOWAS member state.
- Emphasized the need to expedite action on the passage of the NTC Regulations for the full implementation of the NTC Act 2015.
- Recognized the need to fast track the process to ratify protocol to Eliminate illicit trade in Tobacco Product as well as adopt a track and trace system in order to enhance revenue collection efficiency by preventing leakages and smuggling of tobacco products.
- Encouraged government to expedite action on the introduction of excise duties on imported excisable including tobacco.
- Recognized the immediate need to operationalize the Tobacco Control Fund in line with Section 8 of the NTC Act in order to fulfil the objectives of the NYC Act.
- Considered need to put in place a robust funding mechanism for the Tobacco Control Fund (TFC) beyond the budgetary provision to aid the activities of the Tobacco Control Unit (TCU) and National Tobacco Control Committee (NATOCC) through allocation of 50% of collective levies on tobacco products into the TCF.
Mr Ordu Donald
NCDs, Federal Ministry of Health
Prof. C. O Ukoli
Chairperson, National Tobacco Control Committee
Mr A. M. Abubakar
Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment
Mr. Basheer Abdulkadir
Federal Ministry of Finance
Mr. Kalu Iche
Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning
Mr. Auwal musa (Rafsanjani)
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)