Tobacco use and control in Nigeria and other African countries have received little attention relative to other regions like Asia and Latin America. This is due to the perceived low smoking prevalence in Africa compared to the more immediate need for interventions against infectious diseases. However, the trends are changing quickly. Economic growth rate in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) nearly tripled from an average of 1.7 percent in 80s and 90s to about 4.8 percent in the 2000s and 2010s, with Nigeria growing more than five-fold from 1.2 percent to 6.7 percent within the same period (World Bank, 2018). On a similar trend, albeit of lesser magnitude, is the smoking prevalence in Nigeria which grew from 11.3 percent in 2000 to 17.4 percent in 2015 (World Bank, 2017). A combination of rising incomes, population growth, media-driven social trends, and targeted advertisement by the tobacco industry are the key drivers of the rising prevalence in SSA.
A recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicates that Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) at the subnational level decreased slightly between 2014 and 2015. Specifically, the report shows that on the average, the IGR of all 36 states declined by 3.6 per cent from N707.9 billion in 2014 to N683.6 billion in 20157. A further disaggregation reveals that while IGR in 11 states improved in 2015 compared to 2014, IGR in 24 states were below their 2014 levels. As expected, Lagos state generated the most IGR during the period. Given that domestic resource mobilization is the most viable alternative to complement the shortfalls (driven by lower oil prices) in budgetary allocations to states from the federal government, state governments need to do more to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of revenue collection.