Over the years, CSEA has made significant progress in policy engagement as well as stimulating policy changes in Nigeria through its research work. A recent notable achievement CSEA has recorded in the economic development and growth policy landscape in Africa is providing evidence for the implementation of a new excise levy on tobacco products in Nigeria in 2018. The economics of tobacco control (such as tobacco taxation etc.) became of peculiar interest to CSEA in 2016 because of the recognition of the role of tobacco in public health and its potentials for fiscal revenue –especially at a time when Nigeria was undergoing fiscal crisis.
Key facts: Tobacco use is the most preventable cause of death globally. Statistics show that tobacco use cost 100 million deaths in the 20th century –more than deaths from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. If trends continue unchecked, one billion people will die from tobacco-related causes in the 21st century.
CSEA’s role in the tobacco control policy landscape in Nigeria included providing research evidence that supported tobacco control advocacy and taxation policy in Nigeria. To this end, CSEA carried out a novel tobacco taxation model for Nigeria with the aim of estimating the impact of a tobacco tax policy change on public health and government revenue. The research project with a policy dialogue was funded by the Africa Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF).
Following the completion of the research study, the Centre was invited to join the Technical Working Group on Tobacco Taxation of the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance. CSEA’s research output was widely disseminated, at various stages, on national and regional platforms including the 2018 World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH).
The success of this research project and CSEA’s active involvement in this policy process led to the implementation of a new tobacco tax, with an upward review of duty levy and change in tax structure for tobacco products. The new policy would maintain the current 20 percent ad valorem-based excise duty rate on tobacco products, and introduce an additional N1 specific tax on each stick of cigarette in 2018, which would increase the price per stick to N2 in 2019 and eventually N2.90 per stick in 2020. This corresponds to a gradual increase in excise tax duty rate of N58 per pack, spread over three years.
Further research on the Economics of Tobacco Control in Nigeria
Through the Economics of Tobacco Control Research Initiative, International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Cancer Research UK (CRUK), CSEA will receive funding for research focused on supporting innovative fiscal policy research on tobacco control in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs). The research which was launched in October 2018, aims to articulate an evidence-based, economic rationale for the prevention of tobacco-related diseases. CSEA team will conduct research to produce local evidence that will support tobacco-control policymaking and implementation in Nigeria.