The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has urged the Federal Government and Buhari to inaugurate the Tobacco Control Fund as recommended in the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act 2015 as soon as possible.
The group believes the lack of funding for tobacco control in Nigeria is a very bad thing that cannot continue.
According to ERA/FoEN Deputy Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi, tobacco control has to be a priority for the Federal Government because of the threat it poses to the general well being of the people.
He added that the health of citizens has to be of utmost importance to Buhari and everyone in his government.
His words, “It is ironic that the inauguration of the Tobacco Control Fund is still in limbo despite the genuine yearnings of the public health community and indeed the larger Nigerian populace who strongly recommend that tobacco control should be given center-stage in government’s quest for wholesome health for Nigerians. Bad as this is for public health, for the tobacco industry it is good news.”
NTCA National Coordinator, Oluseun Esan also had this to say, “The Federal Government’s failure to inaugurate the Tobacco Control Fund under the 2020 budget will allow the tobacco industry have a field day interfering in public health issues. Already, the same industry is talking about playing a role in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ready to supposedly partner to make this happen. What this means is more addiction, more economic losses to tobacco deaths.”
“There is no better gift to start this year than the setting up of the Tobacco Control Fund which should be funded from tobacco taxes. Doing this will not only save the lives of Nigerians, it will also show the world how serious Nigeria is in tackling the tobacco menace.”