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Business Women Demand For More Market Stalls In Taraba

The Association of Nigeria Women Business Network ANWBN, has appealed to the Taraba State government to allocate stores for market women in the informal sector.

Advocacy Chair, ANWBN, Foluke Ademokun made the plea at a meeting organized by the TinT- Follow Taxes in partnership with the International Budget Partnership (IBP) held  in Jalingo.

The two-day meeting aimed to identify and address gaps in the implementation of existing framework and policies, Tax codification, harmonization policy, and internal control measures.

The objective was also to identify and specify the taxes that informal sector businesses are obligated to pay and their corresponding rates.

The ANWBN says "The expectation is now that government should look at the allocation of stores because we have more women as traders. If we have more market women than market men of course we should see that women own stores more than men, so, even if we can solve that I think it will help.

"Because the government cannot give stores to people who will now be selling to people who will lease it as third parties and the margin between what government gives out the stores and what the women are paying is huge, so, they should own their stores, not somebody who is staying in the market. Ademokun emphasized.
Foluke Ademokun also urged the state government to establish a creche and daycare within the market where their children will be learning to enable the market women to have a conducive environment for them to focus on their businesses as it will improve their economic activities.

On his part, National lead, Transparency and Accountability in Totality (TinT-Follow Taxes), Haliru Ahmed Khalifa said the first day of engagement was to look around the gazetted state tax law, and specifically look at the taxes that are paid by the informal sector, especially the taxes that are paid by the market women and women in the state.

According to him, the expectation was for them to bring a demand note, something that they could use to further enlighten the market women in the informal sector about taxes they should be paying, adding "Now if you look at the document that we were to create.

"The gazetted is about one hundred and thirteen (113) pages, so, we looked at the law and brought out some of the key taxes that are paid in the market that affect women, that affect the informal sector, now we have a document that is not more than three (3) pages, so, it easier for someone, especially people in the informal sector to go through such kind document instead of a 113 to 110 document.

Haliru Ahmed Khalifa continued to say "So, we want to also use the document to create more awareness for people, especially around the taxes they are supposed to be paying, to whom they are supposed to, what they are supposed to lay, and to which jurisdiction they are supposed to pay.

He, however, expressed satisfaction with the commitment of the Taraba State government toward the actualization of the objective plan.

Also in an interview, the Jalingo local government council Sallamnu Hassan who represented the Revenue Unit stressed the need for the government and politicians to create more awareness for people to know to exactly whom they are supposed to pay their taxes directly.

"The government should provide a conducive environment for the market women since they are paying taxes," Hassan advised.

Hassan commended the effort of Follow Taxes in trying to change the narrative of the tax not only in Taraba State but across the nation and expressed optimism that the set objective would be achieved, especially with the commitment of the present administration of Governor Agbu Kefes.

The representatives of market women, CSOs, People with special needs, and the media were among other stakeholders that attended the meeting.

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