MY STRUGGLE

December 18, 2018by Tope Fasua0

I recall when South Sudan was created. Documentaries were aired on CNN/Aljazeera praising their economy because breweries we’re running. They showed Lebanese-run breweries in South I was sad. Look what happened to South Sudan. why do we like to be misled as a people? I am reading some ‘global reviews’ which are trying so hard to dissuade Nigeria from increasing excise duties on alcohol and cigarettes because ‘investors’ will not like it. they also quote all sorts of data to show that jobs will be lost. Really? the truth is that those products are ‘luxuries’ and sometimes, people buy more when they are more expensive. OR, there may not be significantly less sales as a result of a marginal increase in prices. Beer drinkers will stick to their brand. It’s often as personal as the football club you support.

Below is a quote from Punch in an editorial on this alcohol/cigarette matter even as it tried to justify MAN’s position that the excise duty should not be increase (but Punch was balanced to a large extent). MAN and other pressure group have always worked from a selfish, profit maximizing angle which ends up putting us all in trouble. I know we dont love ourselves, much less our country. We even have self-hate. Nigeria did not get here in a day… Nigeria became bad as a result of little decisions that we overlook; selfish decisions that no one stands against. Hear Punch

“The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria says as the new rates are an addition to the existing ad valorem duty, the cost is prohibitive to producers. Ad valorem rate is paid on the value of a product and the 20 per cent applied to tobacco will raise taxes on each stick of cigarette to over 30 per cent, still less than the 38.14 per cent in Algeria and 36.52 per cent in South Africa. A global pact prescribes 65 per cent minimum as total taxes on the price of cigarettes. Beer attracts 47.5 per cent excise duty in Ghana and tobacco 150 per cent; in Senegal, these are 40 per cent and 45 per cent respectively. In Europe, total taxes as a share of the retail price of popular cigarette brands range from 70 per cent to 85 per cent, with Bulgaria implementing 83.24 per cent, Sweden 80.6 per cent and Finland 84.9 per cent.”

My struggle is that I have seen my people misled so many times. I have agonized over the drift of my nation in my time. I have tried to do desperate things sometimes to ensure that things dont get worse for our people. Our people often do not care. We love to be misled, to be used, to be misguided, to be sacrificed on different altars. But I will keep doing what needs to be done all the same.

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