The increasing illicit Tobacco trade in Uganda is believed to be negatively impacting on profit margins of the British American Tobacco. Considered one of the country’s largest taxpayers, BAT Uganda blames the situation on the selective enforcement of the law on illegal trade in the Tobacco industry.
According to the British American Tobacco, Uganda, the coronavirus virus pandemic had had a toll on the Tobacco industry thus registering a one percent drop in gross revenues of about 162 billion shillings. But despite this, players have remained resilient.
Kirunda Magoola, the Managing Director, BAT, Uganda says the drop in Revenue is partly due to illicit cigarettes on the market.
Illicit tobacco trade does not only impact consumers who unknowingly purchase these products but also government revenues and the legitimate tobacco market. Players now want the government to step up enforcement and operations against illicit tobacco trade especially along the porous Uganda-Kenya border points.
Amidst effects of COVID-19, BAT, Uganda in 2020, had its profits increase by 30% translates to Ugx 29.1 bn
According to available data, approximately 19% of cigarettes sold in Uganda are illegal.