The board chairman, Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA), Akinbode Olufemi, has advocated 70 per cent tax increase on tobacco retail prices in line with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) recommendation, as part of actionable plan that can help Nigeria achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with emphasis on Goal 3 as it relates to Tobacco Control in Nigeria.
This recommendation was made known in Abuja during the presentation of a report titled: “Survey To Assess Nigeria’s Progress On SDGS-3 As It Relates To Tobacco Control” by NTCA.
Mr Oluwafemi, in his address, said SDGs is a United Nations initiative formally adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 25, 2015 in a resolution entitled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and posited that for the 17 goals and 169 targets to be achieved over a 15-year period (2015-2030), there is need for collaboration by countries to ‘end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda.”
“Considering that this is the fifth year since the initiative commenced, there is therefore need to look at where Nigeria currently stands in terms of achieving the targets especially given the fact that Nigeria faltered in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which was the precursor of the SDGs. The NTCA and other critical stakeholders therefore felt it was necessary to embark on a survey to enable us to know if we are on track as a nation in achieving the SDGs or not. To do this, deliberately, the NTCA and partners zeroed in on Goal 3: To promote healthy lives and wellbeing for all people at all ages, as entry point,” he added.
He explained that findings of the survey conducted by the NTCA was basically to “Assess Government Commitment and Nigeria’s Progress towards Achieving the Strategic Development Goal (SDGs) with emphasis on Goal 3 as it relates to Tobacco Control.”
According him, there is a link between reducing tobacco use and achieving Sustainable Development Goals target globally, which will in turn reduce premature deaths from non-communicable disease (NCDs) by one third by 2030.