By Kuni Tyessi
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has said that for appreciable development to take place in the country, more women must be regarded and enlisted to take up more spaces in governance.
He said the 51 per cent ratio of women to men cannot be underestimated, urging that the country should learn from the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) and give more women positions of authority.
Lawan, who spoke on Monday at the investiture of Mrs. Clara Nnachi when she was decorated as the sixth Chairman of the Abuja District Society of the CITN, observed that the National President of CITN, Gladys Olajumoke Simplice, is a woman and Clara, wife of Senator Michael Nnachi, representing Ebonyi South, is also a woman.
To him, there must be something unique about women that the CITN has seen and which Nigeria should learn from.
According to him, “I think Nigeria needs more women in government. We can’t neglect that sizable portion of our population. About 51 per cent of Nigerians are women. We have to ensure that opportunities are there for our women to participate not only in governance or politics because that is elite, but in other spheres, including business, market and farm. I think Nigeria has a lot to learn from CITN.”
On the importance attached to taxation, the Senate president said crude oil had been the mainstay of the nation’s economy but lamented that the country has not taken full advantage of it.
￼“Oil revenues are not properly utilised to fix the economy and now revenues are dwindling. When people pay taxes, they have the right to ask how the money is spent. Even though we need to expand the tax net, we shouldn’t capture those who need the tax to live decent lives.
“There are many people who ought to pay taxes and are not paying and there are businesses which ought to pay taxes but are not paying,” Lawan said.
Earlier, the outgoing chairman, Nwabuzor Emeke, while speaking on the theme of this year’s tax week, “Tax, Politics and Social Contract”, noted that an important part of every country’s development process is the building of a social contract in which citizens pay tax and, in return, receive public goods and services.