The prices of beer and cigarettes rose yesterday as the new excise duty rates for alcoholic beverages and tobacco began, just as many women said their husbands can now stay at home with the families.
A cross section of women interviewed in Kaduna over the hike of alcohol who pleaded anonymity complained that many men no longer stay at homes but prefer to hang out at bar joints, adding that many no longer take care of their families.
One of the women said:” We women are happy because many men can stay at home with their families but the situation may be worse for us because even the small money they used to give may not come again as they will gather it to buy the expensive drinks.”
Our correspondent who visited some beer selling outlets in Kaduna noticed that many customers were lamenting the increments, though some were seen consuming it.
At District-5 Garden, Sabo, a customer who identified himself as John complained that:” Before I used to drink four to five bottles of beer but I can manage one or two today because of the increment. The federal government should have banned people from drinking rather than hiding under high tax. The economy is bad and some of us always drink to console ourselves and now the government brought in increment of tax. Indirectly, is we customers that will pay for it, because those producing have increased money per bottle for us to buy.”
Also another customer who does not want to be named at NICON bar Narayi, said if the economy remains stagnant many of them may be forced to quit drinking of alcohol.
“Many us may be forced to move into Ogogoro and palm wine joints to quench our taste. No money and you are increasing prices of things so where can we get money to hang out?” he asked.
The minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, had announced the new tax regime for alcohol and tobacco, as a government measure to raise additional resources and reduce health hazards associated with tobacco-related diseases and alcohol abuse.
The increase in excise duty begins at the expiration of the grace period of 90 days given to manufacturers.