By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA), has urged federal government to increase budgetary allocations for tobacco control in Nigeria .
NTCA Chairman, Akinbode Oluwafemi, made the call during a one day capacity building workshop on Tobacco Control Budget Advocacy in Abuja .
He said the budget for tobacco control is abysmally low and what we are thinking is that government need to increase the budgeting.
“Nigeria has a National tobacco law and regulations and quiet a number of programmes are expected by government to implement and ensure that those law are effective. But we realized that those funds to carry out the programms are very low”.
Oluwafemi said “ We are not particularly happy, we expected that by now there will be increase in taxation on tobacco products which was suspended by the previous administration.
“We are urging this government to look at how that can be corrected in the next fiscal year.
“ We want to begin to see a government that can independently fund some of the tobacco control activities that are in the law and regulations.
Also speaking the representative of Federal Ministry of Health, Dr M.T Malaw ,in his presentation on the processes and time lines budgeting in MDAS, he said :”Budgeting is key and important for any advocacy. People must be committed in their budget and budgeting because it involve been discipline and having legal strength “.
Malaw explained that budgeting must be beyond recurrent expenditure development knowing that budget comes with in stages .
He emphasized that, CSOs can engage the support of committees on appropriation in the National Assembly and Head of MDAs for tobacco control budgeting.
Similarly, Micheal Olaniya, who spoke on tools for effective tobacco control advocacy, said for any advocacy to be effective, the CSOs must plans the process keeping it in mind that, it will be a long way to go.
He said news release, survey polls, briefs , television, radio and newspapers are important to achieve advocacy.
Olaniyan reiterated that”This tools are also effective when you understand government policies, research, global best practices, global trends among others .