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Over regulation of tobacco industry harmful to society — Expert

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By Osa Amadi

Over regulation of tobacco industry will deprive manufacturers of their social responsibilities to society, such as funding cancer research in health institutions, smoking cessation programmes and others.

This was disclosed, Tuesday, in Lagos by Dr. Damilola Olajide, health economist in the United Kingdom and Senior Fellow of Initiative for Public Policy Analysis, IPPA, during a breakfast policy dialogue entitled: Moving from Regulation to Policy Action: The Challenge.

Olajide, making a presentation on the topic: Balancing Regulations versus Product Health Hazards also said it is not wise to completely ban smoking because manufacturers of tobacco, the 6th largest industry in the world, are employers of labour. Rather, they should be encouraged to promote responsible smoking.

Also speaking on the topic: Regulations Undoing Diversification of Economy, Dr. Vincent Nwani, Research & Advocacy, Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry, regretted that Nigeria ranks low in all business indicators – ease of doing business (169 out of 189), security (149 out of 163), stability of laws and policies (181 out of 191), infrastructure index (177 out of 190) and economic competitiveness index (124 out of 140).

He located the problem in the way we govern our country and structure ourselves and in the structure of Nigeria: “The centre is dangerously heavy. We have to tinker on the exclusive list.”

As a part of the solution, Jiti Ogunye, who spoke on the topic: Lawmaking & Execution in Nigeria: The Roles of the Private sector, advised the private sector to get interested in law making processes  as well as in governance.

Among the elements affecting Nigeria business environment, Dr. Nwani identified multiplicity of regulations, taxes, and reforms; security; lack of efficient and effective regulatory bodies; poor contract sanctity; and at the Sea Ports – multiplicity of agencies; cargo clearance timeline; delays; number of papers/paper work & agencies to interface with to export a cargo; illegal fees & levies; infrastructural breakdown; cost of delays, illegalities and others.



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