L-R: Dr. Olayinka Oyegbile of Development Strategies, Zikora Ibeh, Policy and Research Officer at CAPPA, and Philip Jakpor, Director of Programmes at CAPPA.
.Marks World No Tobacco Day
He called on the Nigerian government to accelerate the implementation of Article 17 and 18 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC) and its guidelines that outline how farmers could be supported from tobacco growing to sustainable alternative crops
By Valentine Amanze
Human rights crusader organisation, the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), has alerted that the continued tobacco farming and consumption were worsening the current food scarcity and the effects of climate change in Nigeria, as “World No Tobacco Day” is commemorated on May 31.
CAPPA Director of Programmes, Philip Jakpor, raised the alarm, while addressing the press on the 2023 “World No Tobacco Day” in Lagos on Tuesday.
He explained that tobacco cultivation processes from clearing of large tracts of land, cutting of trees for tobacco curing, and cigarette manufacturing contributed to the climate crisis, and ultimstely threatened food security in Nigeria.
With this year’s theme, “We Need Food, Not Tobacco,” Jakpor appealed to the government to focus on providing the ecosystem for farmers to grow sustainable food crops instead of tobacco.
He also advised the government to end subsidies for tobacco growing and use savings for crops substitution programmes that improve food security nutrition.
Jakpor, who disclosed that CAPPA management went to some communities in Oyo State recently to empirically observe tobacco farming, condemned the companies that were still encouraging tobacco farming.
He called on the Nigerian government to accelerate the implementation of Article 17 and 18 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC) and its guidelines that outline how farmers could be supported from tobacco growing to sustainable alternative crops.
Jakpor pointed out that the guildelines provide opportunities for technical advice on agriculture to farmers, linking them to necessary supplies and services to support their agricultural production, providing financial support to increase production of healthy food, and divesting away from tobacco towards alternative crops.
Yearly, the World No Tobacco Day is commemorated on May 31 to raise awareness about the harms caused by tobacco products to people, public health, communities, the environment and as recent evidence has shown.
Member-states of the World Health Organisation (WHO) organized the first commemoration in 1987 and ever since it has become a yearly event ever, providing opportunities for collaborative action to address the tobacco menace.