Trade Minister Advocates Tax Reliefs, Waiver For Female Entrepreneurs

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum, is advocating a special tax relief and waiver for women entrepreneurs in the country.

The minister made the call on Tuesday at the 2022 International Women’s Day virtual symposium organised by the NGX Group.

katagum spoke on ‘leveraging inclusive economic policies to break gender bias.’

Nigeria has eight years to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 5, which targets to achieve gender equality and empowering all women and girls.

It also advocates equality between men and women as an integral part of human rights and a fundamental criterion for democracy.

Katagum said to achieve the SDG 5, Nigeria needs to speed up on its policies that would empower women.

She explained that the financial limitations of women SMEs, illiteracy and collateral requirements for accessing loans is a grave setback for female entrepreneurs.

Katagum said, “First of all, you look at the issue of education. Women that are educated are more likely to understand the simple principles of banking, or how to reach banks and so on and so forth.

“If we look at it the other way, most of our Nigerian women and I’m not talking about urban areas, in the rural and semi-urban areas. And you don’t even have the spread of banks equally across the country, not even agencies.

“The disparity, the spread of the financial services themselves, but up to the women, so a woman who is not literate doesn’t know how to go about accessing credit.

“The woman doesn’t understand issues of collateral and so on and so forth.

“Secondly, I also look at the issue of collateral, when educated women go to the banks, how do they raise the collateral? “

According to her, the Ministry of finance and other fiscal players need to consider waivers and tax reliefs for women owned businesses.

Katagum said, “I come to the issue that affects my ministry. When the Ministry of Finance gives waivers and tax reliefs, and so on, there is no discrimination. It’s just done as a flat playing field, whereas it doesn’t take into consideration the efforts a female entrepreneur has to go through in order to get to a certain point where you don’t have male counterparts.”

She also called for legal and regulatory reform, beginning with the Nigerian Constitution.

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