The Federal Government of Nigeria has increased by 20% the tax imposed on imported drugs . The minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun issued a circular titled “Import Adjustment Tax” where it was stated that henceforth imported goods would attract a 20% tax increase. Due to the fact that the drugs available in the Nigerian market are mostly imported, there would be an increase in the prices of these drugs.
Anti-malaria and antibiotics are one of the most used drugs in Nigeria, and an increase in the prices of these drugs would amount to a number of people not being able to afford them. Anti-malaria drugs are drugs used for the treatment of malaria while antibiotics are used in the treatment of certain infections. Antibiotics could be expensive depending on the type and brand. The 20% tax increase would invariably lead to these drugs being highly expensive making them not affordable for the average Nigerian.
Reports reveal that quite a number of retailers across the country have taken advantage of the tax increase seeing it as an opportunity to extort the already cash strapped Nigerians; indiscriminately bring up the prices of their goods. Some of these drug prices have been reported to experience as high as 200% increase.