November 16, 2010 - While Nigeria was among the very few nations that signed the FCTC in 2004 with ratification in 2005, the nation is still foot-dragging total domestication of the treaty. The Nigeria tobacco control bill is a comprehensive law when passed to regulate the manufacturing, advertising distribution and consumption of tobacco products in Nigeria. It is a bill that is aimed at domesticating the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
Strong indications emerging show that the tentacles of corruption may have been keeping too close to the process of getting the Nigeria’s National Tobacco Control Bill 2009 enacted. A source close to the Senate who spoke to HotNews Nigeria on the condition of anonymity said that following Mr. David Mark’s, (Senate President) directive for the Senate Committee on Health handling the tobacco issue to fast track issues to facilitate the Bill’s enactment before money changes hand. The source added that following that directive from the apex power in the Senate, the tobacco industry led by the British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) swam into action
intensified lobbying efforts. According to the Source, the Chairman of the Committee has been pretending to be too busy to settle down for the tobacco bill business and since the Committee cannot sit, it would be very difficult to make any presentation to the Senate.
Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has called on the federal government to emulate Australia’s move to ban the promotion of tobacco. (Nigeria - call to emulate Australia's move to ban the promotion of tobacco..)
Nigeria has the highest child mortality rate in Africa as it has been scientifically confirmed that no fewer than 90,000 children die yearly through pneumonia related disease. (Nigeria Has Highest Child Mortality Rate, Says Medical Expert, Ola Ajayi, Ibadan, allAfrica.com, 11/10/2010)
Reference: Corruption: Nigeria’s Tobacco Bill Suffers Setback, Posted by Ugochukwu Chimeziri, BiodiversityMedia.ning.com, 11/2/2010; Nigeria Tobacco Control Bill, the world is watching, Akinshola Owoeye, BusinessDay, 10/18/2010;
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