Jane Doe
Fri, Aug 25, 2023 11:35 AM

Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance Urges Government to Increase Budgetary Allocations for Tobacco Control

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Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance Urges Government to Increase Budgetary Allocations for Tobacco Control
The Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA) is calling on the federal government to allocate more funds towards tobacco control in the country. The current budget for tobacco control is considered to be insufficient to effectively implement the National tobacco law and regulations. NTCA is urging the government to increase taxation on tobacco products and independently fund tobacco control activities outlined in the law and regulations.

The Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA) has stressed the need for the federal government to allocate more funds towards tobacco control in the country. During a one-day capacity building workshop on Tobacco Control Budget Advocacy in Abuja, NTCA Chairman Akinbode Oluwafemi expressed concern over the abysmally low budget for tobacco control.

Oluwafemi highlighted the fact that Nigeria already has a National tobacco law and regulations in place, with various programs set to be implemented by the government to enforce these laws effectively. However, the funds allocated for these programs are inadequate.

He stated, "We expected that by now there would be an increase in taxation on tobacco products, which was suspended by the previous administration. We are urging this government to look into correcting this issue in the next fiscal year."

Oluwafemi emphasized the importance of independent government funding for tobacco control activities outlined in the law and regulations. He urged for a commitment from the government to allocate sufficient funds to support these efforts.

Dr M.T Malaw, a representative of the Federal Ministry of Health, spoke about the budgeting processes and timelines in government agencies during the workshop. He stressed that budgeting is key and essential for effective advocacy efforts. He highlighted the importance of commitment and discipline in budgeting, which requires legal strength.

Malaw further explained that CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) can engage the support of committees on appropriation in the National Assembly and heads of MDAs (Ministries, Departments, and Agencies) to advocate for tobacco control budgeting.

Michael Olaniya spoke about the tools for effective tobacco control advocacy. He emphasized the need for comprehensive planning, considering the long-term nature of advocacy work. Olaniya highlighted various tools such as news releases, survey polls, briefs, television, radio, and newspaper coverage as effective methods to achieve advocacy goals.

He also stressed the importance of understanding government policies, conducting research, and keeping up with global best practices and trends in tobacco control advocacy.

The call by NTCA for increased budgetary allocations for tobacco control reflects the urgent need to prioritize public health and address the harmful effects of tobacco use in Nigeria. Allocating sufficient funds will enable the government to effectively implement the existing tobacco laws and regulations, protect public health, and reduce tobacco-related illnesses and deaths in the country.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-08-25 News

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