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Women body seeks economic stability, end to fiscal leakages


Babatunde Fowler

Babatunde Fowler

FIRS, CBN, CAC officials list measures for improved economy

The Society of Women in Taxation (SWIT) hasdescribed the current period in the nation’s history as appropriate time to discuss strategies that would lead to the stability of the economy, especially as the country has lost much of its earnings from the mono-cultural economic regime.

Besides, the professional women group of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), deplored the assessed financial leakages and plundering of public treasury, saying that it is also time to start discussing way forward.

A former President of CITN and founder of SWIT, Mrs. Adebimpe Balogun, made the observation yesterday, at the group’s yearly seminar and excellence awards on the sidelines of the ongoing 18th Tax Conference of CITN, in Abuja.

“Much has been said about the level of corruption in the country and the plundering of state treasury and it is about time we started discussing way forward,” she said.

According to her, SWIT has developed capacity and women who are now bearing the torch of tax development and sourcing of revenue for the country.

She called on the women professionals to play their roles in the fight against corruption, which the society stands for, especially as the effort to end the menace is a collective one.

The National Chairperson of SWIT, Mrs. EzinwaOkoroafor, said the fact that the global economies are beset by varying challenges, calls for proactive response by thought leaders, as well as patriotism to protect the national economy.

For the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, the nation’s economic challenge which stemmed from the falling oil revenue can still be remedied by voluntary compliance to tax obligations.

According to him, the informal sector still holds the key that would lift the country from its current revenue crisis, as out of the recorded 37.5 million small business, only few are paying tax.

“There are still a lot of businesses that are not registered and by implication, remain outside the tax net. It is important that all of us understand our roles in bringing the economy back to track.”

“SWIT is playing a good role mobilising women that genuinely concerned about tax payment. This is commendable because out of the 37.5 million small businesses, women have about six per cent and their compliance is significant to the nation’s development,” he said.

The Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Sarah Alade, in her presentation, noted that recent measures by the apex bank, like the Bank Verification Number, is aimed at fighting the menace of money laundering, improving access to finance, ensuring equal opportunities and extendedly, provide a structure for taxation too.

The banker, who was represented by the Director of Capacity Development at CBN, MsChizobaMojekwu, said it is encouraging to see women who are deeply involved in taxation and playing a strong role in fostering fiscal stability.

She noted that CBN is committed to ensuring a robust financial system through the financial inclusion scheme, adding that notwithstanding the challenging fiscal space, government has out measures in place to support economic stability.

The Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Bello Mahmoud, said for a way forward, there must be deliberate and consistent discussion, even group action, to effect the desired change that the economy needed.

He pointed out that economic development is a global desire, but how the problems limiting the actualisation can be solved has remained the challenge, especially since beginning of global economic crisis.

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