As from tomorrow, Nigerians will begin to pay more to buy alcohol and cigarette as the new excise duty for alcoholic beverages and tobacco earlier approved by President Muhammadu Buhari will take effect from Monday, June 4, 2018, says the Federal Government.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, in March announced that the President had granted a grace period of 90 days to manufacturers of the products. According to her, the new excise duty rates would spread over a three-year period from 2018 to 2020 in order to moderate the impact on prices of the products.The upward review of the excise duty rates for alcoholic beverages and tobacco was to raise the government’s fiscal revenues.
She said that it would also reduce the health hazards associated with tobacco-related diseases and alcohol abuse.
The minister said that by 2020, tobacco would begin to attract N2.90 kobo specific rate per stick or N58 per pack of 20 sticks.
Adeosun explained that Nigeria’s cumulative specific excise duty rate for tobacco was 23.2 per cent of the price of the most sold brand.This is against the 38.14 per cent in Algeria, 36.52 per cent in South Africa and 30 per cent in Gambia.
She said also that the new specific excise duty rate for alcoholic beverages cuts across beer and stout, wines and spirits for the three years, 2018 to 2020.
Under the new regime, beer and stout will attract 0.30k per centilitre (cl) in 2018 and 0.35k per cl each in 2019 and 2020.
Wines will attract N1.25k per cl in 2018 and N1.50k per cl each in 2019 and 2020, while N1.50k per cl was approved for spirits in 2018, N1.75k per cl in 2019 and N2 per cl in 2020.
The International Monetary Fund, in its 2017 mission, advised Nigeria to raise the excise duty on a stick of cigarette to N5, which is five times the approved amount.
“The low tax level prevails even though Nigeria is the highest alcohol drinking country in Africa and leads the top 10 largest beer drinking countries,” IMF said.
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