Illicit Tobacco in Nigeria
Globally, the trade in illicit tobacco products has increasingly been a source of concern for policymakers, development practitioners and health officials owing to the diverse social and economic impact on health, government revenue and the financial support to criminal networks. Every year, it is estimated that some 600 billion cigarettes representing over 10 percent of the global cigarette consumption, pass through the black market. The pervasiveness of such trade has negative implication for society, especially developing countries who are already faced with weak fiscal capacity and health systems. It is estimated that African countries lose about €10 billion in tax, invariably increasing tobacco induced health – for all, except members of the industry and criminal networks feeding on the illicit trade. In this study, we document successful cases of effective synergies in countries that, like Nigeria display a significant presence of the tobacco industry and face similar challenges to trade regulation but were still able to implement higher tobacco tax policies and other tobacco control measures while reducing the level of illicit trade.