Director Basic, Nationwide Well being Insurance coverage Authority, Professor Mohammed Sambo says that the Sugar-Sweetened Beverage (SSB) tax is an revolutionary and different financing mechanism that may be harnessed to make sure that Nigeria attains common well being protection by 2030.
Professor Sambo, in his handle at a well being financing coverage dialogue on New Well being Financing, Approaches in Nigeria: Implementation of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage (SSB) Tax in Nigeria, in Abuja, stated nations that attained common well being protection did so by prioritising well being financing, particularly by extra taxes or necessary medical health insurance.
In keeping with him, channeling the proceeds from the SSB taxation to the susceptible group fund by necessary medical health insurance is essentially the most equitable means to enhance entry to high quality well being look after about 83 million individuals in Nigeria who at present can not afford to pay for his or her wanted well being care companies.
In keeping with him, “SSB tax is a pro-health tax. Sugar-sweetened drinks have an effect on well being negatively. Extra sugar consumption is linked to a wide range of well being issues, together with diabetes and dental caries. Due to this fact, the proceeds from its taxation needs to be used to enhance well being. Should you fail to spend money on the well being care supply system, you’ll danger spending 10 instances what you’d have ordinarily spent in the event you had made the funding.”
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The NHIS boss, nevertheless, stated the substantial portion of the SSB taxation proceeds needs to be spent on mobilising sick Nigerians to hunt well being care companies somewhat than on growing bodily infrastructure and amenities.
Whereas SSB tax has a authorized foundation in Nigeria, Director Basic of the price range workplace, Mr Ben Akabueze, stated many individuals had questioned the appropriateness of the SSB tax on well being grounds given Nigeria’s low per capita sugar consumption, its effectiveness in curbing sugar consumption and associated hazards, its repressiveness and its price on poor shoppers.
Mr Akabueze added, “regardless of all of the objections to introducing the SSB, we had stopped in need of earmarking the tax to health-related expenditure till we get a transparent sense of its measurement and likewise until the well being sector demonstrates the capability to utilise sources allotted to it.”
Chairman, Home Committee on Well being, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe stated other than SSB taxation, the proposal was made initially to incorporate different issues that influence well being negatively like alcohol and tobacco.