THE NIGERIAN government has launched a dashboard to monitor tobacco products as part of efforts to combat smoking in the country.
The Tobacco Control Data Initiative (TCDI) dashboard is a virtual (web-based) dashboard that provides all data on tobacco products, including information on prevalence, taxation, harm, illicit trade as well as industry interference in tobacco use, and the use of shisha.
The Nigerian government launched the project in partnership with Development Gateway, which handles the dashboard.
Launching the website at a media briefing on the occasion of the ‘World No Tobacco Day’ in Abuja on Tuesday, Minister of State for Health Olorunnimbe Mamora urged Nigerians to check the platform for any information they need on tobacco in Nigeria.
Country Lead, Development Gateway, an IREX Venture, Seember Ali, said the website was a hub for information that stakeholders had validated.
Ali said the website would be used as an advocacy tool for stakeholders in the tobacco community to make decisions and engage with policymakers.
“This project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is being implemented in Nigeria and seven other countries. The data is a one-stop-shop that has everything that stakeholders working in the Tobacco Control space will need to make decisions for the advocacy for tobacco control and be able to make proper policy engagements in a way that supports the tobacco control works that the Federal Ministry of Health has already been doing.
“When we started working on the dashboard, we had already done a consultative process with all our stakeholders, where we sought to understand the priorities and things they would like to see on the dashboard. We found out that the Nigeria Tobacco Control stakeholders care about information on prevalence, taxation issues, harm, illicit trade, industry interference in tobacco use, and shisha use which we are currently conducting primary data on.”
She assured users that everything on the dashboard reflects the current needs of what the stakeholders already shared with her organisation.
Users can access the website at www.nigeria.tobaccocontroldata.org.
In his remarks, Executive Director, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), Akinbode Oluwafemi, said the dashboard was a milestone in tobacco control in Nigeria.
He explained that as an advocate for tobacco control for close to thirty years, one of the biggest challenges advocates face was getting the local data to engage policymakers.
The ICIR reported that the Nigerian government has hiked taxes on tobacco products in a bid to discourage smoking in the country.