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Friday, December 2, 2011

ERA urges Jonathan to speedily sign Tobacco Control Bill

...Says death toll from tobacco consumption rising

Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to speedily sign the National Tobacco Control Bill forwarded to him for assent by the National Assembly, a move which it says will check the rising death toll resulting from tobacco consumption in the country.
The comprehensive bill, sponsored by Senator Olorunimbe Mamora, was on May 31, 2011 passed by the sixth session of the National Assemby, and seeks to regulate the manufacture, sale and marketing of tobacco products in Nigeria.
It however requires the president's approval before it can be fully enforceable. Speaking with newsmen yesterday at a press briefing which held in Lagos, Akinbode Oluwafemi, director, corporate accountability and administration, ERA/FoEN, said the time had come for the nation to enact laws that would protect present and future generations from the harm caused by multinationals driven by profit rather than the protection of life.
"The consequences of not doing the right thing are dire, especially for a developing country like ours," he said, adding that the World Bank has declared that over 5.8 million people die each year of tobacco-related diseases globally; while a 2006 survey conducted in Lagos revealed that two persons die of same on a daily basis.
Oluwafemi therefore called on the president to work with the National Assembly towards completing the process of signing the bill, and set in motion the structure that would ensure full compliance across the country. "Our government should stand up and be counted for the protection of the young, the poor and those deceived into tobacco addiction by enacting a law that will protect all," he said.