By Omar Bah
Minister of Finance Seedy Keita yesterday opened the 2nd International Professional Women Conference (IPCW) under the auspices of the Society of Women in Taxation and the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.
The three-day workshop hosted at Kairaba Beach Hotel is organized under the theme ‘building professional women leaders for the future’.
Minister Kieta said women are key stakeholders in national development and Africa is not an exemption.
“Women are hardworking and always strike a balance in their personal and professional lives to see societal development. We cannot develop as a society if we don’t empower women,” he added.
He said taxes are the bedrock of any economy and distributive system and the allocation of resources.
“The fact that women take charge of that means that they are at the forefront of the national development agenda of any country and we are very pleased to see this because the misconception of lebelling women as the weaker gender is a thing of the past and nipped in the board,” he said. He said a recent study has shown that during the Covid-19 crisis countries led by women have handled the crisis better.
Also, addressing the delegates, GRA Commissioner General Yankuba Darboe welcomed the international delegates and assured them of his office delight to host the event and hopes it turns out to be successful.
“I have always held the belief that revenue mobilization is everyone’s business. This includes the taxman, the taxpayer, public institutions, civil society and international partners across the world. We are therefore delighted to support the Society of Women in Taxation in delivering a successful conference. Civil society organizations are often the incubators of reforms and new ideas. We therefore hope that the deliberations of this conference will yield the desired result and provide valuable information and insights,” he said.
Commissioner Darboe said the importance of women taking up leadership roles in politics, business and in communities cannot be underestimated as they continue to be vastly under-represented in decision making.
Saliju Tenytori, a representative of Ecowas, said gender mainstreaming and women issues has gained increased recognition and prominent in public policy discussion over the past three decades but gender issues were not considered as important policy in developing countries.
He challenged women to seek leadership positions even at the Ecowas level.
Dr Ruth Adimula, national chairman of the society of women in Taxation, Nigeria, said the International Professional Women Conference was conceived half a decade ago in the context of just having a small gathering of women professionals across Nigeria borders to inspire one another towards aspiring for greater heights. She said the organisation announced itself to the world last year in Cotonou, Benin.
“That maiden conference was an eye opener to the fact that women are influencers and much is expected of us in this regard much more as professional women,” she added.
She said women organisations in Nigeria and across Africa continue to contribute immensely in the development of women across the continent.