The recent formation of a Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms by Nigeria’s president, Bola Tinubu, has generated controversies due to the appointment of Taiwo Oyedele, a fiscal policy partner and Africa tax leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), as the chairman of the committee.
The issue of conflict of interest has been raised by some quarters with the notion that Oyedele, who is said to be a lobbyist for corporations against government taxes, should not be in such a position.
A Twitter user named Adewunmi claimed that Nigeria is ranked as the 4th largest consumer of sugary drinks globally. This was as he alleged that PwC advised an association of manufacturers against implementing taxes on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SBBs), which he described as a globally endorsed and pro-health fiscal policy.
Claim: Nigeria ranks as the 4th largest sugary drinks consuming country globally
The CDD War Room ran a check on the claim and here is what we found.
In March 2017, The Punch Newspaper reported that Martina Claus, the Head of Market Development at the German Engineering Federation, disclosed that Nigeria was ranked 4th globally in terms of the volume of soft drink sales recorded in 2016.
In September 2022, Runcie Chidebe, the Executive Director of Project PINK BLUE, reportedly claimed during the global week of action for non-communicable diseases that Nigeria was ranked 4th in the world for the highest consumers of soft drinks.
However, the 2023 report on soda consumption by the World Population Review (WPR) ranks Argentina, the United States, Mexico, Chile, and Uruguay as the top 5 countries with the highest sugary drinks consumption.
WPR’s 2023 data on sugar consumption by country indicates that Nigeria is not listed among the top 5 countries with the highest sugar consumption globally. The United States was ranked as the largest sugar-consuming country with a per capita sugar consumption of 126.4 grams daily.
Furthermore, a report by Statista on sugar consumption worldwide in 2022/2023, by leading countries (in million metric tons), indicates that Nigeria is not among the top 10 countries with the highest sugar consumption. India tops the list with a total sugar consumption amounting to approximately 29.5 million metric tons in the period under review.
The CDD War Room confirms that there is no precise data stating that Nigeria is ranked the fourth-largest consumer of sugary drinks globally. Latest data from multiple sources show that Nigeria is not among the top five countries with the highest soda consumptions.