To improve the primary healthcare of Nigerians, the World Bank has appealed to the Federal Government to impose special taxes on alcohol, cigarettes and sugar-sweetened beverages.
Shubham Chaudhuri, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria made the appeal in Abuja during the special National Council on Health meeting organised by the Federal Ministry of Health.
According to Country Director, if Nigeria wants to improve its healthcare, it needed to tax the things that are killing the people.
He explained, “The economic rationale for taxing these products is strong if we want to save lives and make a better and healthier Nigeria.
Chaudhuri opined that taxes on tobacco, alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages would reduce their consumption and expand fiscal space for universal health coverage post-COVID-19 and their health risks.
Shubham Chaudhuri suggested that investing in a stronger health system for all would contribute to tackling rising poverty and inequality in the country.
He noted that improved health tax increases, it would have the additional advantage of reducing future healthcare costs by curtailing the growth of non-communicable diseases that tobacco, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened beverages cause.