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FG Rakes In N15 Billion From Tobacco Annually


The African Examiner,

Nigeria's Finance Minister Okonjo Iweala

Nigeria’s Finance Minister Okonjo Iweala

The Federal Government generates N15 billion as tax from the British American Tobacco, BAT, says the tobacco company’s Managing Director, Mr. Keith Gretton.

Gretton, who visited Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos at the State House, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria on Monday said BAT had been a responsible corporate citizen as it had supported agriculture in the country and remitted about N15 billion in taxes annually to the Federal Government.

He added that over the years the British American Tobacco West Africa   had become a vital business for BAT globally with Nigeria being one of the top 10 markets globally out of the 180 countries where BAT is present.

Gretton disclosed that the company was constructing its four million pounds headquarters in Lagos, saying the building was a demonstration of the company’s long term commitment to the people of the state.

He said BAT believed in the future economic prosperity of the country and that the company would continue to support Nigeria’s growth aspirations, while commending the infrastructure regeneration work which the Fashola-led administration was doing in Lagos State as well as the widely acknowledged security sector in the state.

Speaking, Fashola urged the organization to do business with very strong conscience about what WAs right and safe for the consumers, stressing that a company like the British American Tobacco Company should always consider how it could better prolong the lives of the people for whom it also made products.

“I think that an organization like yours should be able think of how they can better prolong the lives of the people for whom, you also make products and now, we are seeing a lot of diseases today as a result of lifestyle choices and lifestyle issues and they are getting much more complex with substance dependency and so on and so forth,” he stated.

According to Governor Fashola, the organization should stand up to be counted in terms of advancing regulations pertaining to its products.

“These are places where I would strongly think that your organization put a strong foot forward in terms of full appreciation of the need to intervene in advance of regulation as it were because I know that the lifestyle choices that people make, especially in the kind of products that you make can also have certain health consequences and I think that it is important to help people to promote the risk voluntarily and openly in a manner that people therefore know what choices they have.

“We as a government remain committed to supporting businesses by filling in with the hardware end of the matter such as infrastructure, security and we would also continue to provide the environment in which your human capital can thrive and prosper,” he said.

In the area of security, Fashola said the state government encouraged institutions, such as Foundations like that of the British American Tobacco Nigeria to look at the bouquet of opportunities to support the State Security Trust Fund which is an entirely voluntary venture that helped the State to resource the security personnel in terms of equipment, vests, boots, patrol vehicles, among others.

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