Group wants better funding for tobacco control

Group wants better funding for tobacco control

The Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance, on Tuesday, lamented the paltry budgetary allocation to tobacco control in the country.

Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja, the Chairman of NTCA, Akinbode Oluwafemi, disclosed that the allocation to tobacco control plunged by 50 per cent from N9.4m in 2022 to N4.7m in 2023.

According to him, the slash of funding from the national budget has slowed down tobacco control efforts in the country, whilst threatening the gains painstakingly made through the years.

“Tobacco use has and continues to impede the realisation of the SDGs, specifically Goal 3 on good health and well-being; Goal 11 on sustainable cities and communities; Goal 12 on responsible consumption and production; and Goal 15 on life on land.

“This is why tobacco control funding must be expressly prioritised because tobacco is a major contributor to global non-communicable disease burden,” Oluwafemi said.

He said as President Bola Tinubu was expected to declare war on global drug trafficking at the 31st meeting of Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies in Africa, “we encourage him to make tobacco control a key strategy in combatting the drug scourge.”

He urged the National Assembly to pay attention to the proposed budget for tobacco control when the deliberations for the 2024 appropriation bill commence.

On his part, the NTCA Programme Officer, Chibuike Nwokorie said the government needed to take tobacco control seriously.

“The money budgeted for tobacco control this year is laughable in a country of more than 200 million people. We want tobacco control to be properly budgeted for and funded on time.

Source: PUNCH