Note: Philip Jakpor was unable to deliver this question at the Philip Morris International annual meeting. Below is what Philip intended to ask.
My name is Philip Jakpor. I work with the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) and I am based in Nigeria.
It is estimated that more than 17,500 Nigerians die annually as a result of tobacco-related diseases. Over 370,000 of our children and more than 4.3 million adults use tobacco each day.
Though Nigeria’s National Tobacco Control Act limits interactions between tobacco corporations and public officials and prohibits tobacco corporations from interacting with our kids, since 2015 when Philip Morris International (PMI) broke into the Nigerian market it has hidden behind proxies to circumvent these laws.
The Foundation for Smoke-free World (FSFW) which is solely funded by PMI is currently sponsoring agricultural research in Nigeria’s prestigious University of Nigeria in Nsukka. The same foundation has been giving Conrad Foundation money to organise a yearly contest in Nigeria with the winning pupils receiving scholarships worth about $60,000 for four years to study at prestigious universities abroad.
The International Tobacco Company (ITC) – local manufacturer of PMI brands in Nigeria has also stepped up so-called philanthropy and recently donated 10,000 sanitizers to one of the state governments to supposedly support efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Through these kinds of initiatives, PMI remains in the shadows yet is actively pulling the strings to remain relevant in Nigeria. The public health community in Nigeria currently does not know the number of organizations PMI is actively engaging
As the sole funder of the Foundation for Smoke-free World, how can Nigerians access the entire list of organizations it funds in Nigeria?