In a move to improve the domestic funding to treat HIV, the Nigerian government is proposing to introduce AIDS tax.
The proposed measure will ensure a considerable hike in the domestic funds to fight HIV, AIDS and also mother to child disease transmission, which has already seen a 10 percent increase.
The Civil society Organisations in Nigeria have urged the federal government to ensure a speedy hearing to the bill.
The government of Nigeria with the help of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) received an estimated sum of US$ 25 million from the Global Funds for AIDS, TB and Malaria. It also got an additional US$ 17 million from UNITAID, an international drug purchase facility for the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV.
According to the Director General of the NACA, Prof. John Idoko, the proposed issue of levying AIDS taxes on cellphone and airline is under consideration and soon it will be taken forward to the National Assembly.
Idoko also said that earlier the domestic contribution to AIDS prevention fund was only 15 percent and now it has risen fairly to 25 percent, which is a good sign. This has also helped the country to reduce its dependency on the donour support.
The NACA director also mentioned that his organisation is working to ensure that the bill gets an easy and rapid passage in the House of Representatives.
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