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NTCA urge finance minister to enforce tobacco control Act in 2018 fiscal policy
The Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA) has urged the minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun to include the provision of the National Tobacco Control Act (NTC Act) in the 2018 fiscal policy in other to control and regulate the sales of tobacco products in the country. NTCA made this known in a press statement issued in Lagos. ‘’according to the letter which was signed by the Board Chairman of NTCA, dated 8th December, 2017, was addressed to the Minister of Finance, Adeosun, requesting for the enforcement of Part VI, Section 15 (5, 6, 7) of the NTC Act which regulates the selling of smoked tobacco products in an intact pack of not less than 20 sticks so that the Nigeria Customs Service can investigate and confiscate non-compliant to NTC Act at the borders, even before they are introduced into the market”. Speaking, Board Chairman of NTCA and Deputy Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Akinbode Oluwafemi, stressed that ‘’Part XI section 31 (1) enables the Nigeria Police Force and other law enforcement agencies (Nigeria Customs Service) to inspect and investigate complaints and take appropriate enforcement action under the act.” Oluwafemi noted that the enforcement of the provisions will ensure that tobacco products entering the country comply with the NTC Act, as well as ensuring the intent of the law which is to protect Nigerians from the dangers of tobacco use is not compromised by unscrupulous tobacco importers. ‘’The same section of the Act stipulates that smokeless tobacco products must be in minimum of 30 grams pack. Otherwise, it must be confiscated”, he said. He disclosed NTCA as a network and member of the Africa Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA)that includes Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs), and other professional groups working on tobacco control, human rights, public health and cancer with a view to ensuring qualitative health, sustainable development and good governance for all Nigerians.