By Chinenyeh Ozor
NSUKKA—A senior lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Dr. Ezebuilo Ukwueze, has applauded the Federal Government for increasing excise duty on alcoholic beverages and tobacco.
Ukwueze, who is in the Department of Economics, told Vanguard in Nsukka, yesterday that the increase would improve internally generated revenue, IGR, economic growth of the country and reduce the consumption of the products and its health related diseases.
“I commend the FG for increasing the excise duty on alcoholic beverages and tobacco. It’s a welcome development. This increase will not only generate revenue for government but will also reduce the intake of the products and it’s harmful effects on consumers,“ he said.
He said that as a result of the tariff increase, producers and dealers of the products will definitely increase the market price of the products and because of increase in price, people will be forced to reduce their rate of consumption.
He explained that someone who takes four bottles of beer in a day would be compelled to come down to two bottles because of the cost implication, as the price of the products rise.
“What the FG has done will go a long way to discourage people from consumption of the products which is hazardous to human health,” he said.
The university don decried the high consumption rate of alcoholic drinks and cigarettes in the country especially among youths, saying that government decision was in right direction for life longevity.
“Some youths cashes on lack of job to be addicted alcohol and other drugs harmful to health.
Most youths have been lured to various degrees of crime under the influence of alcohol and other related vices while others suffer serious health diseases because of addiction to alcohol and cigarettes among others.
“Generation yet unborn will remain grateful to the present administration of President Mohammadu Buhari, for the bold decision that will help reduce alcohol intake and cigarettes smoking in this country,” he noted.
It would be recalled that, Federal Government on March 4, approved increase on excise duty for alcohol beverages and tobacco, which it said would take effect from June 4, 2018