From left— Akinbode Oluwafemi, Executive Director; Oluchi Joy Robert, Project Coordinator, and Philip Jakpor, Director of Programmes, all of CAPPA, at the media presentation of the TakeApart Nigeria report. VIDEO: Agbonkhese Oboh.
*Raise the alarm on implications of tobacco industry interference
By Agbonkhese Oboh
Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, CAPPA, on Friday, launched the TakeApart Nigeria report entitled “The Big Tobacco Allies— How tobacco companies use intermediaries to foster their corporate social responsibility initiatives and promote their image in Nigeria”.
The report documented instances where tobacco multinationals use intermediaries to foster their efforts to undermine implementation of the WHO FCTC, mapped tobacco industry allies and exposed how tobacco companies use them to clean their image and grow their business.
Speaking at the media presentation of the report at their headquarters in Lagos on Friday, CAPPA Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi said effective tobacco control faces the challenge of interference from the tobacco industry.
He noted that the report will help stakeholders identify the loopholes exploited by these multinationals.
According to Oluwafemi, “Tobacco industry interference is a major challenge to effective tobacco control.
“The TakeApart Nigeria report is a vital tool that will enable the Nigerian government and public health advocates to identify and plug loopholes that the tobacco industry and its allies and front groups have exploited to interfere in public health policy.”
Also speaking, CAPPA Director of Programmes, Philip Jakpor, said: “The TakeApart Nigeria report is a product of painstaking investigation which unearthed how the tobacco industry and their front groups pull wool over our faces.
“We are now handing the Nigerian government the resource that is necessary to ending the unnecessary interactions that the tobacco industry initiates.”
Some of the several recommendations in the report include full implementation of the National Tobacco Control Act 2015 and the National Tobacco Control Regulations 2019;
Halt of economic incentives and benefits to the tobacco industry; prohibition of all interactions with the tobacco industry not related to policy implementation; establishment of a policy for government agencies to fully disclose minutes and proceedings of meetings and interactions with the tobacco industry;
Regular updating of information websites to ensure easy information dissemination that will in turn guarantee transparency;
Sensitisation of authorities on the public health implications of interactions with the industry, and periodic declaration of no-conflict-of-interest by stakeholders that must interact with the tobacco industry.
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