The Federal Government has revealed that it has started the implementation of a N10 per litre sugar tax on carbonated sugar drinks and beverages which they say will help combat Non-communicable Diseases.
The policy was introduced in the Finance Act which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 31, 2021, alongside the 2022 Appropriation Bill.
The federal government says it has started the implementation of excise duty of N10/litre on all non-alcoholic, carbonated, and sweetened beverages.
This was disclosed on Thursday by Dennis Ituma, chief superintendent of customs, department of excise, free trade zone and industrial incentives, at a policy meeting in Abuja.
The meeting was organised by the National Action on Sugar Reduction (NASR) to suggest ways to implement taxes and other interventions to reduce the consumption of sweetened beverages in the country.
Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, had announced the new tax imposed on sugar-sweetened beverages in January 2022.
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Despite several reactions from the National Labour Congress (NLC), Lagos Chamber of Commerce (LCCI), and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the tax duty was enforced.
Speaking at the event, Ituma said the implementation started on June 1, 2022.
According to him, customs started the implementation of taxing all companies producing sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) by sensitising the companies on the need for taxation.
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“The N10 per litre of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) has been implemented on June 1, by July 21, all excise duties must have been collected and paid into the federation account,” he said.
“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 were removed from taxable beverages.
“Only alcoholic drinks and tobacco generates N414 billion, SSBs will further increase the revenue generated from drinks.”
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Ituma further said in order to ensure compliance, the agency has designated resident customs officers to all factories producing SSBs to take measurements of all daily production.