By Franklin Alli
” One of the reasons for us to tax carbonated drinks is that, if we tax alcoholic beverages and tobacco because they are injurious to our health, carbonated drinks, with the content of sugar, are equally injurious to our health.”
The Controller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), gave this hint when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Customs to defend the service’s 2020 budgetary performance and 2021 proposal.
Ali, who led top officials of the Customs before the committee, made written and oral submissions. The lawmakers also grilled him for about three hours.
The Customs boss told the lawmakers that the service had designed various strategies to improve revenue generation in 2021 based on the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
“Most of the diabetes cases we see today are as a result of consumption of these drinks. So, it is deadly; as deadly as tobacco. Alcohol is less deadly than them. But we are still running a zero excise duty on these companies,” he said.