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MAN calls for reversal of alcohol, tobacco excise duty hike

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The Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to reverse the recent increase in the excise duty for alcohol and tobacco.

The President of MAN, Dr Frank Jacobs, who addressed journalists in Lagos on Wednesday, said that if the government goes ahead to implement the proposed hike, the firms producing the products will shut down and increase job losses.

Speaking on the association’s stand on the African Continental Free Trade agreement, Jacobs noted that the association was still in talks with the government on the issue.

“During the last presidential engagement forum, I talked about the impact of this excise duty increase on the manufacturing sector. I made it clear that if they go ahead and implement that policy, within the three years when that policy will be in full force, many of the companies that are involved in those products must close shops.”

Due to the need to raise revenue, the Federal government had on March 11 approved an amendment to the excise tariff rates for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, to come into effect on June 4, 2018.

Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, had stated that President Muhammadu Buhari had given a 90-day period of grace to manufacturers of the affected products before the new duty regime would go into effect.

She said the new excise duty rates would be spread over a three-year period from 2018 to 2020 in order to reduce the impact on the prices of the products.

According to the minister, the new tariff was the result of an all-inclusive meeting between the Tariff Technical Committee of the Federal Ministry of Finance and key industry stakeholders.

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5 Drinking Hacks You Should Know

Life hacks are those simply creative things we do to make living easy – drinking hacks make drinking way easier and bring life to your party.

Pulling off a hack when you and your friends meet up for a drinkathon can immediately give you the Black Panther title among them.

We have selected five(5) hacks that you can use to step up your drinking experience.

The Disposable Cooler

This hack involves using a waste bag inside a beer or soda case (not a crate) – you can also use a TV case or something of the like. Put some ice into it along with your drinks. Voila! You have yourself a disposable cooler.

Nails & Hammer

So you have a bottle of wine in front of you but there is to wine opener in sight? Two small nails and a hammer can do the job of lifting the cork for you. Simply use your thumb to drive the nails into the cork, then use the end of a hammerhead meant for removing nails to pull out the nail along with the cork.

The Ice Cooler

Some drinks release the best flavours when chilled. So what do you do when you have a drink to chill, but can’t wait 20-25 minutes on a freezer to do the work? Fill a bucket with ice and add just enough water to fill the cracks in that ice. Add salt to the mixture (this lowers the freezing point and let it become super-cold water). Go ahead and rotate your bottle or can of soda, beer, bottled water, or wine for about 2 minutes or more, and your cold drink is ready.

Champagne Bubbler

Is your open champagne or sparkling wine running out of fizz? Fear not! Simply add a raisin in your glass and wait a few minutes will save it from going flat.

Blended Wine

Wines taste best when you aerate the flavours. No wonder wine glasses are specially shaped to allow the flavours breath and direct them to the nose and palate. To get the best out of your wine (where there is no expensive wine aerator), pour your wine in a blender, blend it for 30 seconds, and settle to savour the best wine tasting experience yet.

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IMF Calls On Nigerian Government to Further Increase Excise on Alcohol, Tobacco

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on the Nigerian government to make an increase of 100 percent on excise duties on alcohol and tobacco.

This follows the recent the N1 excise duty approval given by President Muhammadu Buhari, which was announced on Sunday by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun.

The IMF stated that the current rate of 20 percent was low for alcoholic beverages as this does not account for the external costs that abusive drinkers impose on other people.

Th Fund emphasised that chronic heavy drinking has a harmful effect on the health system such as organ damage and birth defects. It also noted that studies have revealed that irresponsible drinking is one of the leading the causes of accidents and domestic violence citing the World Health Organisation evidence that excessive drinking results in 10 percent of the total disease burden.

“The duties on alcohol and alcohol beverages in Nigeria are low compared to those found in other countries. Excise duties of beer in Nigeria are 2/5 of the duty in Kenya and one and a half of the level in South Africa,” the Fund said in its report.

“The low tax level prevails even though Nigeria is the highest alcohol drinking country in Africa and leads the top 10 largest beer-drinking countries.”

For tobacco, the Fund said that there was a need for Nigeria to raise the excise duty on a stick cigarette to N5 as a fail-proof revenue raising strategy.

The newly approved rates for tobacco will see a N1 specific rate charged for a stick of cigarette (N20 per pack of 20 sticks) in 2018. The increase will take effect from June 4.

In 2019, each stick of cigarette will attract the sum of N2 specific rate (N40 per pack of 20 sticks), while in 2020, a N2.90k specific rate will be charged per stick (N58 per pack of 20 sticks).

But the Fund stated in the report that tobacco prices should be adjusted upwards in conformity with the global tobacco convention goal of achieving an excise burden of 64 percent of the retail price per pack of 20 cigarettes.

The IMF also recommended that excise duties should be converted from ad-Valorem to specific rates to reflect the external cost of consumption and production.

“Nigeria’s tobacco excise duties are very low at 16 percent of the retail price since excise duties are generally shifted forward into consumer prices; by extension, cigarette retail prices in Nigeria are only a fraction of the retail prices.

“To reflect the fact that tobacco excise is a proxy for the social cost that smokers impose on other people, it is recommended that the duty should be made specific and imposed at N100 per pack of cigarettes of 20 over a three-year period.”

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Buhari approves new excise duty rates for alcohol, tobacco

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved new excise duty rates for alcoholic drinks and tobacco with effect from Monday, 4th June 2018.

Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, who made this known on Sunday in Abuja, added that the President has also granted a grace period of 90 days (three months) to all manufacturers before the commencement of the new excise duty regime.

The new excise duty rates are spread over a three-year period from 2018 to 2020 in order to moderate the impact on prices of the products.

Adeosun further disclosed that the new excise duty regimes followed all-inclusive stakeholder engagements by the Tariff Technical Committee of the Federal Ministry of Finance with key industry stakeholders.

According to her, the new excise duty rates for alcoholic beverages and tobacco is in line to raise fiscal revenues and reducing the health hazards associated with tobacco-related diseases and alcohol abuse.

“The Tariff Technical Committee (TCC) recommended the slight adjustment in the excise duty charges after cautious considerations of the Government’s Fiscal Policy Measures for 2018 and the reports of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund Technical Assistance Mission on Nigeria’s Fiscal Policy.

“The effect of the excise duty rates adjustment on trade and investment was also assessed by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment and it adopted the recommendations of the TTC.

“Furthermore, peer country comparisons were also carried out showing Nigeria as being behind the curve in the review of excise duty rates on alcoholic beverages and tobacco.”

Adeosun also disclosed that the new excise duty rate on tobacco was now a combination of the existing ad-valorem base rate and specific rate while the ad-valorem rate was replaced with a specific rate for alcoholic beverages.

“For Alcoholic Beverages, the current ad-valorem rate will be replaced with specific rates and spread over three years to moderate the impact on prices. This will curb the discretion in the Unit Cost Analysis (UCA) for determining the ad-valorem rate and prevent revenue leakages.

“For Tobacco, the Government will maintain the current ad-valorem rate of 20 percent and introduce additional specific rates with the implementation to be spread over a three-year period to also reasonably reduce the impact on prices.”

Under the newly approved excise duty rates for tobacco in addition to the 20 percent ad-valorem rate, each stick of cigarette will attract a N1 specific rate per stick (N20 per pack of 20 sticks) in 2018, N2 specific rate per stick (N40 per pack of 20 sticks) in 2019 and N2.90k specific rate per stick (N58 per pack of 20 sticks) in 2020.

The Minister explained that Nigeria’s cumulative specific excise duty rate for tobacco was 23.2 percent of the price of the most sold brand, as against 38.14 percent in Algeria, 36.52 percent in South Africa and 30 percent in the Gambia.

The new specific excise duty rate for alcoholic beverages cuts across Beer & Stout, Wines and Spirits for the three years 2018 to 2020.

Under the new rates, Beer & Stout would attract N0.30k per centilitre (Cl) in 2018 and N0.35k per Cl each in 2019 and 2020. Wines would attract N1.25k per Cl in 2018 and N1.50k per Cl each in 2019 and 2020, while N1.50k per Cl was approved for Spirits in 2018, N1.75k per Cl in 2019 and N2.00k per Cl in 2020.

The Minister added that the new excise duty regimes are in sync with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) directive on the harmonisation of member-states’ legislation on excise duties.

ECOWAS Council of Ministers had at its 62nd and 79th Ordinary Sessions in Abuja in May 2009 and December 2017, respectively, issued directives on the harmonisation of the ECOWAS Member States’ Legislations on Excise Duties. The directives is in order to harmonise member-states’ legislation on excise duties of non-oil products and also stipulate the scope of application, the rate of taxation, taxable event and amount.

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Coca-Cola to begin production of Alcohol

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Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola announced that it is planning to launch an alcoholic drink for the first time in the 125 years of its existence.

In September, the West African arm of the company revealed that there were plans were in place to spend $600 million on expanding its production lines.

Peter Njonjo, President of the West Africa operation at Coca-Cola said the company wants to be a total beverage company and reduce reliance on carbonated soft drinks.

The new product which will be launched in Japan will contain between three and eight percent alcohol by volume. It will be marketed as an alcopop like Smirnoff Ice and Snapp — a term used to describe sweet but alcoholic drinks.

According to BBC reports, Coca-Cola Japan President Jorge Garduno said the drink will be a,

“modest experiment for a specific slice of our market. We haven’t experimented in the low alcohol category before, but it’s an example of how we continue to explore opportunities outside our core areas. It is unlikely the drink would be sold outside of Japan.”

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What Do You Know About Non-Alcoholic Wines?

The goodness of wine is well known throughout the world and Nigeria. The unique way it moves in the mouth and glides down the throat.

The heady taste, aroma, enchanting colours and hues are simply captivating. As an added bonus, it is really good for the health because it helps reduce bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol levels.

It reduces the risk of blood clotting almost as effectively as aspirin, regulates blood sugar levels, improves brain power, keeping your memory sharp, guards cells against free radicals, fights infections, cuts cancer risk and helps with weight loss.

No one should be left out of the unending benefits of drinking wine. This is why there is now a non-alcoholic version of your favourite past time.

Click here to order a bottle of non-alcoholic wine.

If you love wine but are unable to drink because of the alcohol content, you can do a dance now, because there is now non-alcoholic wine.

Non-alcoholic wine has all the goodness of alcoholic wine but without the alcohol. If you are light-headed and cannot handle more than a glass of alcoholic wine, you will be able to handle a whole bottle of non-alcoholic wine. The alcohol content is one percent or even less.

Non-alcoholic wines are different from fruit juice. In fact, they are regular wines that have gone through an extra stage where practically all the alcohol is filtered out, but with all the goodness intact.

Non-alcoholic wines retain all the flavour and characteristics of the original wine. One of the best non-alcoholic wine range to try is Ariel. They were introduced in 1986 and won the Gold Medal over all the other regular wines at the Los Angeles County Fair.

In the 1990s, endorsements from world-famous chef Dr Graham Kerr led to a wider acceptance of non-alcoholic wines as a healthier alternative. They now distribute over 65,000 cases per year worldwide. The company started out with just one wine – Ariel Blanc, and it is still one of their best-sellers.

Some of the wines in the Ariel range include:

Ariel Blanc

A crisp white Chardonnay-style wine with aromas of jasmine, floral and lilac. It has flavours of lychee, peach and lavender, with a nice acidity and just a hint of sweetness. You will love it with seafood and chicken.

Ariel Chardonnay

A wonderful blend of tropical fruitiness, with the character of oak barrel ageing. This wine has tastes of buttery baked apples, with butterscotch overtones, and a heady French toasted oak bouquet.

Ariel Merlot 

This is a robust wine with assertive flavours of raspberry, cassis and wild cherries, with pronounced aromas of white chocolate, cloves and oak. You should try it with roast beef, grilled steaks or even roast pork.

Tidbit

Non-Alcoholic wine is not the same as Alcohol-Free wine. To be termed non-alcoholic, a wine can contain up to 1% alcohol, but no more than that. Non-alcoholic wines are healthier than the alcoholic wines and they contain only about half of the calories.

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Funny Drinking Quotes You Can Share With Friends

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If you are looking to show off to your friends that you are the drinking guru, a good use of drinking quotes will set you apart.

It’s one thing to know that champagne is more than just sparkling wine, but giving spice to your conversation by quoting men of old on alcohol and drinking sets you apart.

As you sip away at your midweek drink, here are some funny drinking quotes from history’s notable characters, that you can share with friends and well-wishers.

Quotes about drinking:

  • “A lady came up to me one day and said ‘Sir! You are drunk’, to which I replied ‘I am drunk today madam, and tomorrow I shall be sober but you will still be ugly.”

Winston Churchill surely was a savage with words here.

  • Here’s to alcohol, the cause of, and solution to, all life’s problems.”

Here is Matt Groening telling a friend that alcohol is the lock and key of all of life’s hassles.

  • Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy.”

Amen Frank Sinatra! Preach brother!

  • “Here’s to alcohol, the rose coloured glasses of life.”

That one time Scott Fitzgerald became a poet because of booze.

  • “Whoever drinks beer, he is quick to sleep; whoever sleeps long, does not sin; whoever does not sin, enters Heaven! Thus, let us drink beer!”

Rest peacefully in heaven Martin Luther. You taught us well.

  • “If you drink, don’t drive. Don’t even putt.”

Dean Martin is not wrong. We actually support the motion – “Don’t drink and drive”

  • “Do you drink?”  “Of course, I just said I was a writer.”

Now you know where Stephen King’s weird imaginations come from.

 

  • “Drinking is fun! It makes me feel horrible and sexy!”

Warren Ellis has left us wondering how you can be horrible and sexy at the same time.

 

 

  • “Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages.”

Wine has a special place in Louis Pasteur’s heart, or should we just say cellar?

 

 

 

  • “I began to think vodka was my drink at last. It didn’t taste like anything, but it went straight down into my stomach like a sword swallowers’ sword and made me feel powerful and godlike.”

No more argument, drinkers of vodka are gods and Sylvia Plath agrees.

  • “There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren’t as good as others.”

Can we just stop at “there is no bad whiskey” Raymond Chandler?

  • “If you ever know a man who tries to drown his sorrows, kindly inform him his sorrows know how to swim.”

We agree with Pittacus Lore. Never use alcohol as a means to escape from life’s realities.

  • “For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity or perception to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication.”

Friedrich Nietzsche just revealed the big connection between arts and drinking.

  • “They say the only people who tell the truth are drunkards and children. Guess which one I am.”

Stephen Colbert is not asking you to become a drunkard. But would you rather be a liar?

  • “I went out with a guy who once told me I didn’t need to drink to make myself more fun to be around. I told him, I’m drinking so that you’re more fun to be around.”

Oops, Chelsea Handler! Apply water to the burnt area, please.

 

  • Fell in love with a beautiful blonde once. Drove me to drink. And I never had the decency to thank her.”

Don’t be like W.C. Fields, always show gratitude after being introduced to a good drink.

  • “It’s 4:58 on Friday afternoon. Do you know where your margarita is?”

Amy Neftzger is the inspiration behind #TGIF – Thank God It’s Friday!

And there are our funny drinking quotes to give cheer to your friends with. There is no harm in adding your own. Let’s see how smart alcohol has made you.

 

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Did You Know Moderate Drinking Makes You Live Longer than Exercise?

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Regular exercise is said to make one live to a ripe old age, but it seems to drink alcohol trumps what exercise is capable of.

A recent long-term study has found that regular moderate intake of alcohol will help you make it to your 90’s better than exercise can.

The team of scientists from the University of California led by neurologist Claudia Kawas tracked 1,700 nonagenarians enrolled in the 90+ Study that began in 2003 to explore impacts of daily habits on longevity.

According to The Independent, researchers found that subjects who drank two glasses of beer or wine a day were 18 percent less likely to die prematurely. On the other hand, participants who exercised 15 to 45 minutes a day, cut the same risk by 11 percent.

“I have no explanation for it, but I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity,” Kawas stated over the weekend at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference in Austin, Texas.

Asides the modest drinking, other factors found to boost longevity included weight. Participants who were slightly overweight — but not obese — cut their odds of an early death by 3 percent.

“It’s not bad to be skinny when you’re young but it’s very bad to be skinny when you’re old,” Kawas noted in her address.

More so, participants who kept busy with a daily hobby two hours a day were 21 percent less likely to suffer an early death, while those who drank two cups of coffee a day reduced the risk by 10 percent.

Further study is needed to determine how habits impact longevity beyond people’s genetic makeups.

 

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Does Alcohol Make You More Attractive to Others?

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Alcohol is capable of many things including the ability to make us immediately appear more attractive to others than normal.

Don’t get us wrong, there is absolutely nothing attractive about a man or woman staggering back home after a rough night. So to get the best out of this magical ability of alcohol, as in all other benefits, moderate drinking is encouraged.

As a matter of fact, it goes both ways – alcohol can affect the way we see and are seen, by people. This just proves that the beer goggles theory is as real as we can imagine.

There is scientific proof

Just in case you have more doubts lingering on your mind, several scientific studies have proven the ability of moderate drinking making you appear immediately attractive.

At the University of Bristol in the UK, 40 students were supplied with wine but were asked to take photos of each other sober before the drinking commenced. They also took a photo of each participant after one drink, then after a second.

The photos taken after just one drink has been consumed were judged as more attractive than the sober photos. However, the photos taken after students drank more than one glass, were rated as less attractive than when they were sober.

“It suggests that, if it’s true, people are rated as more attractive once they’ve consumed a small amount of alcohol,” said the study’s senior researcher, Marcus Munafò, a professor of biological psychology at the University. “But if they go on to consume more alcohol, they’re no longer rated as more attractive.”

The study suggested that a single alcoholic drink could make people seem more attractive because it caused facial muscles to relax, pupils to dilate and cheeks to flush.

“Rosiness is attractive because it characterizes good physical health characteristics,” said Professor Munafò.

This gives us a confidence boost to have a glass of wine or a tot of whiskey before walking up to your crush to drop that cool pick up line.

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10 Basic Cocktail Tools Every Mixologist Should Have

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Mixing the perfect drink requires creativity, focus, expertise and consistency. It has become an art in its own right as more cocktails are invented regularly.

Just like every other art form, making cocktails requires certain tools to get the job done right and quickly too. For the beginner mixologist, having the proper tools is almost as important as getting the recipe right. As a matter of fact, the right tools propel the right recipe.

Basic Cocktail Tools

The basic tools needed to make that darling cocktail are explained below:

Boston Shaker

The Boston Shaker is highly essential in the cocktail-making process. It consists of two parts: a mixing glass and a metal tumbler. It used to have a third part which was a built-in strainer. The beautiful thing about the Boston Shaker is that the customer gets to see what goes into the mixing glass. Add that to the beauty of watching the ingredients mix together as the mixologist gets to work.

Strainer

The strainer is a basic sieve designed to be placed on the shaker. It keeps broken ice and fruit or other pulp in the metal tumbler while the drink is being poured.

Fine Strainer

In order to keep the cocktail clear, a fine strainer is used to catch all the smaller pieces of ice and fruit while pouring the drink.

Bar Knife

You definitely need the bar knife for cutting fruits and other garnishing.

Jigger

The Jigger is a measuring cup with measures on both ends. It is used in measuring the right amount of ingredient to add to the cocktail.

Bar Spoon

The Bar Spoon is used to stir, scoop spices, layer drinks and muddle soft fruit. It comes with a coin-like end that suits its purpose.

Blender

Blenders are primarily used for frozen drinks and are quite useful in making purees.

Muddler

It is used in mashing fruits into a puree, as well as extracting juice from various citrus fruits.

Pour Spout

This is a special cap placed on bottles for optimal speed at the bar. Mixologists and bartenders with years of experience use the Pour Spout to pour the correct quantity of drink without having to measure.