House Of Rep Calls For Increase In Tobacco Tax

The House of Representatives on Thursday urged the Federal Government to increase tax on tobacco as a means of curbing smoking and funding healthcare services in the country.

This followed a motion by Rep. Sergius Ogun (Edo-APC) and Rep. Albert Abiodun (Osun-PDP).

Moving the motion, Ogun expressed concern that annually, tobacco usage accounted for more than seven million deaths around the world.

He added that this resulted in decreased household incomes, increased Government expenditure in healthcare provisions and loss of productivity.

Ogun said that increased tax on tobacco will address public health concerns and substantially increase revenue potential of the Government.

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He explained that it will also help in mitigating the funding challenges of the healthcare services delivery.

According to him, the new regime will enforce a ban on tobacco advertising, raise taxes on tobacco among others.

The motion was unanimously adopted when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara.

The house, therefore, urged the Federal Government to embark on a sustained campaign to control tobacco usage.

It also mandated the Committee on Finance to interface with the Federal Ministry of Finance to review the tax regime on tobacco.

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The house also mandated its committee on Healthcare Services to ensure implementation and report back within six weeks for further legislative action.

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