Food Safety Day: Increase tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, set salt limits in food – CAPPA tells FG

In commemoration of the 2024 World Food Safety Day, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has urged the federal government to increase the tax on sugar-sweetened beverages as well as set mandatory salt limits in food products to protect Nigerians from excessive consumption so as to tackle the alarming rise of obesity and NCDs in the country.

These actions, according to CAPPA can help Nigeria bolster national food safety and public wellbeing.

The Media and Communications Officer, Robert Egbe, in a press statement also urged the government to reverse this negative trend by implementing food strategies and policies that promote access to healthier diets and spur producers to reformulate comestibles for the betterment of public health.

He said governments at all levels should prioritise effective food policies, food security and access in the interest of public health.

According to him, many Nigerians and local farmers are still unable to earn a livelihood from farming and thus improve the food supply chain due to unending armed conflicts and the varied impacts of climate change.

He said this terrible situation has worsened food shortages, hunger pangs, and inflation across the country.

“Moreso, incidents of food adulteration, contamination, improper labelling, unverified food claims by producers, and victimisation of consumers by big food corporations continue to pose grave dangers to the economy, well-being and nutrition of vulnerable Nigerians.

“It is in this context that CAPPA reiterates the need for state authorities to enact and implement comprehensive laws and policies across the food and nutrition spectrum, not only to ensure adequate food regulatory oversight but to maintain vigilance that safeguards Nigerians and public health.

“In particular, the overconsumption of salt and sugar has been linked to the growth of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases worldwide and in Nigeria, causing both economic and social strains.

“Above all, we ask Nigerians to be kind to themselves by prioritising their health and eating to live, not to die.

“People must watch their food consumption patterns, making sure to consciously desist from the excessive consumption of sugar, salt, and fat, which is associated with an increased risk of non-communicable diseases,” he said.