Vices of­fered by start-ups’

Ny plays in pro­mot­ing bet­ter Tax h Ex­cerpt:

Business Day (Nigeria) - - COMPANIES & MARKETS -

tax poli­cies to en­able bridge the knowl­edge gap while also pro­mot­ing tax com­pli­ance.

This is be­ing done as a so­cial im­pact pro­ject car­ried out through sen­si­ti­za­tion and train­ing about tax with more fo­cus to reach the small busi­ness own­ers who are not yet able to af­ford the ser­vices of a tax con­sul­tant. The Tax101 brings the best tax pro­fes­sion­als and ad­min­is­tra­tors on its pro­gramme to give first in­for­ma­tion at no cost to the gen­eral pub­lic.

Do you think Tax101 has been of any im­pact to your tar­geted au­di­ence?

I would say a big yes, and we are very proud of the im­pact our ra­dio pro­gramme has had on both in­di­vid­ual and small busi­ness own­ers, like I said be­fore Tax101 was in­tro­duced to tackle tax knowl­edge chal­lenges and also to en­cour­age tax com­pli­ance level.

I can also say that to some large ex­tent we have been able to ed­u­cate the gen­eral pub­lic to know that there are var­i­ous tax in­cen­tives and tax ex­emp­tions poli­cies pro­vided by the gov­ern­ment to en­cour­age small busi­nesses and pro­mote some sec­tors of the econ­omy which they can ben­e­fit from, ei­ther at the state or fed­eral level. Only very few com­pa­nies with good tax con­sul­tants are en­joy­ing these ben­e­fits and tak­ing ad­van­tage of the in­for­ma­tion.

How are you able to pull re­sources for Tax101 con­sid­er­ing you said it is a so­cial im­pact pro­ject? Run­ning a pro­gram like Tax101 is very re­source de­mand­ing and cap­i­tal in­ten­sive but then again it is a so­cial im­pact pro­ject which is of­fered to the pub­lic at no cost. We have been able to ac­com­plish all that we do­ing with Tax101 through the sup­port of the Fed­eral In­land Rev­enue Ser­vice (FIRS) and this is be­cause the Ex­ec­u­tive Chair­man of the FIRS, Mr. Ba­batunde Fowler be­lieves strongly in ed­u­cat­ing the tax­pay­ers as part tax ad­min­is­tra­tion sys­tem. Cou­pled with the great sup­port that we have had from ma­jor tax and au­dit­ing firms across the coun­try through way of par­tic­i­pa­tion as re­source per­sons to share their knowl­edge as a way of giv­ing back to the so­ci­ety.

What do you think firms op­er­at­ing in in­dus­try like yours need to grow?

What small com­pa­nies like us re­ally need to grow is pa­tron­age and col­lab­o­ra­tion from the pri­vate sec­tor, as they are not en­cour­ag­ing small busi­nesses. When small com­pa­nies that of­fer ser­vices go to the big pri­vate sec­tor firms, the first thing they would ask is do you have 5 to 10 years ex­pe­ri­ence, some would ask for min­i­mum of 3 job com­ple­tion cer­tifi­cate and a whole lot of other doc­u­ments even bank guar­an­tee and per­for­mance bond. All these be­come a lim­i­ta­tion to new start-up.

What Some of these big pri­vate sec­tor com­pa­nies fails to un­der­stand is the fact that good ser­vice de­liv­ery is not only de­pen­dent on ex­pe­ri­ence but on in­no­va­tion and cre­ativ­ity, as the old con­ven­tional way of ser­vices de­liv­er­ing may not al­ways be the best as com­pared to the in­no­va­tive and tech­nol­ogy driven tech­niques pos­sessed by young en­trepreneurs nowa­days.

I feel the big pri­vate sec­tor firms should give more op­por­tu­ni­ties to small or start-up com­pa­nies, while we un­der­stand the need for big brands to man­age the risk as­so­ci­ated with deal­ing with start-up com­pa­nies, they should also con­sider the op­por­tu­nity of been part of the suc­cess story of smaller firms by giv­ing them a level play­ing ground to com­pete fairly as com­pe­ti­tion brings out the best cre­ativ­ity.

What does it en­tail to be a fe­male CEO in Nige­ria? It comes with a whole lot of chal­lenges, es­pe­cially when you play in an in­dus­try dom­i­nated by men. They tend to see you as a weaker gen­der that should not be en­trusted or as­signed some projects. Some think women are less cre­ative and lack the abil­ity to think out­side the box or han­dle cer­tain jobs but the truth is some of the best CEO and in­dus­trial lead­ers in the world to­day are women and the best de­ci­sion mak­ers are women as well.

What it en­tails in be­ing a fe­male CEO in Nige­ria means that you have to work as twice as a male coun­ter­part would do. If they are putting in 12 hours of work it means you have to put in 24 hours of work be­cause be­ing a fe­male CEO, a mother and a wife means you’re work­ing round the clock and you have to be able to mul­ti­task if you must sur­vive. Lastly women CEO must be firm and com­mit­ted to de­liv­er­ing pro­ject with the time frame with­out ex­cuses of how the home front is equally de­mand­ing. I be­lieve been a woman should not be a lim­i­ta­tion to be­ing a CEO we can do the work as much as a man.

What are EAF’S fu­ture pro­jec­tions?

For EAF, a pro­jec­tion for this year 2019 which is a new year is to ex­e­cute more projects, have more clients, not nec­es­sary only the big brands but also work with small scale en­ter­prises, main­tain more brand im­age and of­fer bet­ter ser­vices that will re­tain al­ready ex­ist­ing clients.

We also hope to do more cor­po­rate events like or­ga­niz­ing stake­hold­ers sec­tion, in­dus­try re­view and out­look, ex­e­cute more so­cial im­pact projects like the ex­ist­ing Tax101 pro­ject, which will ben­e­fit the av­er­age Nige­rian busi­nesses at no cost.

We also in­tend to work with other sec­tor to bridge iden­ti­fied gaps as we are not only re­stricted tax. We hope to im­pact the Nige­ria Econ­omy in our best way pos­si­ble.

Tax101 will still be up and run­ning and we hope to achieve even greater mile­stones this year through the ra­dio pro­gramme.

What ad­vice do you have for young girls out there and women like your­self who are as­pir­ing to be­come CEOS?

My ad­vice is that it is never too late nor too early to start a busi­ness, I wish I started ear­lier. Busi­ness has no gen­der. What it takes is your pas­sion, your drive, cre­ativ­ity and the abil­ity for you to en­dure all the chal­lenges, and if one busi­ness idea fails, don’t beat your­self, it’s all part of busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ence no­body will teach you. Start again, be in­no­va­tive, take risk, put in more work, again I would say Start small be­cause there is al­ways an op­por­tu­nity for you to grow.

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