CAPPA regrets country's decline in tobacco interference rankings

Corporate Responsibility and Policy Participation Africa (CAPPA) condemned Africa’s drop from 53rd to 60th place in the tobacco interference ranking.

Speaking at the launch of the group’s report entitled “Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2023” in Lagos, the group’s Executive Director, Mr. Akinbodo Oluwafemi, said that tobacco companies, through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes, It observed that the company was cleverly marketing its “harmful” products.

Oluwafemi cited the partnership between the British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATN) and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to empower young farmers and ensure that youth are constantly exposed to the company and its products. He said he is making it possible.

CAPPA has condemned House of Representatives Speaker Tajudeen Abbas’ recent “welcome home” comment when his former employer, BATN, visited Abuja.

The group said the comment meant the chairman was supporting the company and its activities instead of encouraging legislation to eradicate tobacco use in the country.

Reviewing the report, Project Research Director Zikola Ibe said one of the issues that prompted the study was the lack of preventive measures, including the ambiguity of the National Tobacco Control Act (NTCA) 2015 and the 2019 regulations. He said enforcement was weak.

These challenges could, in some cases, unintentionally allow the tobacco industry to operate with impunity, she said.

She further added: “For example, the NTCA requires the tobacco industry to submit annual reports on tobacco and tobacco products, but also maintains that ministers can choose to make this information publicly available or private. Optional transparency makes it difficult for public health advocates to verify whether compliance is being enforced.”


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