President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime says it has begun the implementation of the N10 taxation per litre of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) to reduce non-communicable diseases.
Dennis Ituma, chief superintendent of customs at the department of excise, free trade zone and industrial incentives, announced this in an interactive session at a meeting in Abuja on Thursday.
The meeting was organised by the National Action on Sugar Reduction to proffer ways to implement tax and other interventions to reduce SSBs consumption in the country.
According to Mr Ituma, customs started taxing all companies producing SSBs from June 1.
“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,” the official explained.
He added, “Previously both SSBs, alcoholic drinks and tobacco were all taxed until 2009 when SSBs were removed from taxable beverages. Only alcoholic drinks and tobacco generate N414 billion. SSBs will further increase the revenue generated from drinks.”
On how customs would ensure that the companies are properly taxed, Mr Ituma said the service designated resident customs officers to all factories producing SSBs who take the measurements of all daily productions.
Mr Buhari’s regime approved the taxation of N10 per litre tax on SSBs last December.
A public health physician, Las Eze, called for a well defined policy framework that would support direct transfer of any money that accrues from this tax to health interventions.