The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) at the weekend appealed the Federal Government to inaugurate the Tobacco Control Fund in line with the provisions of the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act 2015.
The organizations in a statement pointed out that the near zero allocation to tobacco control in the 2020 national budget had reinforced the need to institutionalize a funding mechanism for tobacco products in the country.
A spokesman of the ERA/FoEN, Mr. Philip Jakpor, cited the provisions of Part 3, Section 8 (1) of the NTC Act 2015 which states that "for the creation of the Tobacco Control Fund which shall consist of monies made available by the Federal Government from annual budgetary allocation approved by the National Assembly", to justify the group's call for tobacco control funding.
According to him, monies in form of subventions from any of the governments of the Federation can also be ploughed into meeting the stated objectives of the Act.
Jakpor stated further that in the 2020 national budget, the Health Sector got N427bn and that a reasonable part of the money was provided for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), which received N44.5bn.
He stated: "The BHCP Funds is to be administered through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), and the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH). Recurrent expenditure stands at N336bn while capital expenditure is N46.47 billion. There was no mention of the tobacco control fund."