In order to tackle non-communicable diseases, the Federal Government has announced that it has begun enforcing a N10 per litre sugar tax on carbonated sugary drinks and beverages.
The measure was included in the Finance Act, which President Muhammadu Buhari signed on December 31, 2021, together with the Appropriations Bill for 2022.
Mr. Dennis Ituma, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Department of Excise, Free Trade Zone and Industrial Incentives, made this disclosure during an interactive session at a Policy Breakfast Meeting held by the National Action on Sugar Reduction in Abuja on Thursday to discuss how to implement tax and other interventions to lower SSB consumption in Nigeria.
The Customs boss said the services had commenced taxing companies that produced Sugar-Sweetened Beverages on the 1st of June, 2023.
“The N10 per litre of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages has been implemented on June 1, by July 21, all excise duties must have been collected and paid into the federation account.
“It should interest you that taxation on SSBs was a policy of the Federal Government in 1984 but was stopped in January 2009.
“Previously both SSBs, alcoholic drinks and tobacco were all taxed until 2009 when SSBs was removed from taxable beverages.
“Only alcoholic drinks and tobacco generates N414 billion, SSBs will further increase the revenue generated from drinks,” he said.
He added that the Customs Service designates resident customs officers to all factories producing SSBs who take the measurements of all daily productions.
Mr Musa Umar, a representative of the Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning said it was important to get those at the high level of policy-making involved in the advocacy to get their commitment to channel the funds from the tax to health issues that resulted out of the excessive consumption of SSBs.