July 17, 2018
British American Tobacco plans to launch its electronic cigarettes in Nigeria in the near future, according to a story in the Nation, relayed by the TMA.
Chris McAllister, MD of BAT Nigeria and West Africa, reportedly said the stability of the exchange rate and the revival of consumers’ purchasing power had given the company “the confidence to continue to invest in our state-of-the art factory in Ibadan and our recently commissioned West African headquarters in Lagos”.
He added that the company planned to launch “our world leading range of e-cigarettes in Nigeria in the near future”.
McAllister said the company was aware of the health risks of smoking and was investing in products that had the potential to reduce harm.
He said also that BAT Nigeria had worked with the government to reduce the illegal trade in tobacco from 80 percent to about 20 percent. This was the result of having a local manufacturing operation that stimulated a value chain of local businesses.
Commenting on an amendment to the excise tax law, under which the current ad-valorem tax rate will remain at 20 percent while an additional specific rate will be introduced over a three-year period, McAllister said there should be collaboration and consultation between relevant stakeholders for tax policies to be balanced and reasonable, reducing the potential for unintended consequences in respect of both the economy and wider government objectives.