Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki has said that the Nigerian Senate is determined to deal with tobacco companies for violating enabling laws on tobacco control in the country.
Saraki spoke on Wednesday in Abuja while hosting a coalition of anti-tobacco Civil Societies (CSOs) under the aegis of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
He recalled that the 7th National Assembly passed the National Tobacco Control Act (NTCA 2015) to ensure that tobacco related illnesses are eradicated in the country and urged the Federal Ministry of Health to fast-track the submission of other components of the Act to the National Assembly for ratification.
“We want to assure you of our commitment to a tobacco-free Nigeria. The day of tobacco companies violating our laws are numbered. We will ensure that our laws are strictly adhered to. Nigeria cannot continue to be a dumping ground and if those companies can respect the laws of other countries, they would have to respect our laws,” Saraki said.
The Deputy Executive Director of the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) Akinbode Oluwafemi, said Saraki was the Chairman Senate Committee on Environment and that he should use his office to save Nigerians especially children from the ills of tobacco consumption.
On her part, the director of African programme, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Bintu Camara, said Africa countries are looking up to Nigeria in many aspects including tackling the menace of tobacco and urged the National Assembly to do its part in ensuring the quick implementation of the Act.
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