CEM REPORT, HEALTH | Stakeholders in the health sector have called on the government to initiate healthy food policies.
This is as the stakeholders appealed to the government to explain the N10 per litre excise tax on all non-alcoholic, carbonated and sweetened beverages as contained in the 2021 Finance Act.
They added that the government should earmark the tax for the development of the health sector.
Stakeholders in the sector made the appeal at a media roundtable organised by the National Action on Sugar Reduction (NASR) and Gatefield in Abuja.
While highlighting the significance of healthy food policies, particularly the Sugar-Sweetened Beverage (SSB) tax, which was recently introduced by the government, they noted that Nigeria currently lacked efficient food policies.
Speaking at the event, Advocacy Specialist at Gatefield, Shirley Ewang, stressed the need to intensify advocacy for the sustenance and increase of the sugar tax in Nigeria.
She decried the action of the beverage industry players against the sugar tax.
Global Health Advocacy Incubator, Joy Amafah on her part decried the rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country.
She noted that efficient healthy food policies will go a long way in reducing and preventing NCDs.
She pointed out that research has shown that sugar tax already implemented in certain countries has contributed to a decrease in the consumption of unhealthy foods.
She stressed that globally, taxation had been an effective method for reducing the consumption of unhealthy foods.