The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) says it supports the Federal Government’s recent increase in excise duty on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.
The Director-General, Mr Babatunde Irukera said this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to him, the increase will serve as a measure to reduce the risks of abuse and disease.
He also applauded the Federal Government’s consideration for consumers in “granting a 90-day moratorium and periodic incremental adjustments to ensure appropriate balance between personal consumer choices and the public interest.
“I commend President Muhammadu Buhari for his strong leadership in addressing this vital consumer issue in a manner that is consistent with prevailing global practices.”
Irukera said that though CPC protects the rights of all consumers and their prerogative to make personal lifestyle choices, it, however, encourages responsible consumption in all circumstances.
He said that of particular concern were products that may potentially have adverse effects or possibly modify behaviour in a fashion that may be harmful or inconvenient to the consumer, or others.
He said that the policy was the product of consensus pursuant to broad stakeholders’ engagement and was motivated in large part by the Federal Government’s desire to reduce the risks of abuse and disease that may be associated with consumption of these products.
According to him, the Federal Government’s approach will also foster consumer confidence, provide regulatory clarity and prioritise safety, all of which reinforces the mandate of the council.
“The council insists that all producers, particularly of the products subject of this revised excise duty must take appropriate steps, including full disclosures to promote responsible consumption, responsive, transparent and accessible consumer complaint resolution mechanisms to protect and satisfy consumers.”
The Federal Government on Monday increased excise duty on alcoholic beverages and tobacco, with effect from June 4.
The excise duty rates were spread over a three-year period from 2018 to 2020 in order to moderate the impact on prices of the affected products.
It is expected that the upward review of the excise duty rates for alcoholic beverages and tobacco will achieve dual benefits of raising the government revenues.
It is also expected to reduce the health hazards associated with tobacco-related diseases and alcohol abuse. (NAN)
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