Expert Decries High Import Duties On Fitness Equipment | Tribune

A general view of a crude oil importing port in Qingdao, Shandong province, November 9, 2008. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

A Lagos-based fitness expert, Sir Goodluck Etom Obi, has urged the federal government to reduce import duties on fitness equipment to make them accessible to the average Nigerian whose health is endangered due to lack of exercise.

According to Obi, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Gategold Nigeria Ltd Lagos, “The health sector is facing a lot of challenges in the area of inadequate equipment, lack of training for health workers and high import duties”.

He observed that the increasing rate of sudden deaths from cardiac arrests and heart-related diseases is due largely to lack of exercise and low fitness awareness, even among the elite.

“Several lawmakers have slumped and died suddenly without any previous symptoms of illness. This phenomenon is due primarily to lack of exercise,” Obi argued.

He explained that regular fitness regimen should be part of individual life style, adding that people should start seeing exercise as a multivitamin needed to be taken on a daily basis and this can only be possible if the equipment is readily available at affordable cost.

“One is motivated by the words of the Late John F Kennedy, a former American president, who admonished his compatriots to think of what they could do for their country not what their country could do for them. Inspired by that statement, we, as leaders in fitness and physiotherapy business in Nigeria, recently donated a rehabilitation equipment (MS300) worth about five million naira to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, to support that institution and bring down the cost of rehabilitation of patients who patronize the hospital,” Obi said.

Citing poor eating habit as one of the causes of obesity and circulatory disorders, the businessman explained that the country needs greater fitness awareness to promote in-take of fruits and diets rich in nutrients, low in bad fat and cholesterol.

“There are other bad, health-damaging habits like hard drinking, smoking and over-eating that must be discouraged through sustained health education. The media has a great role to play in this campaign”, he added “Healthy heart exercise can get the heart pumping, as well as reducing the chances of suffering from hypertension.”