Saturday, July 7, 2018 9:39 pm
The Federal Director of Cooperatives, Mr Akintoye Akintola, says cooperative education will promote financial inclusion of Nigerians, especially at the grassroots.
Akintola, while addressing co-operators at an event to mark the 2018 United Nations International Day of Cooperatives in Abuja on Saturday, said that cooperative education would also ensure proper accountability in the country, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.
He urged the Federal Government to support the cooperative body in terms of funding to promote financial inclusion
““The media and government should invest in cooperative education. If every Nigerian is exposed to cooperative education, all the financial difficulties in the country will vanish.
“”Cooperative education will ensure democracy is uplifted, ethics will be deepened, accountability will be in place, and all these make for a better society.
“”Government need to do a lot more regarding funding, because the present funding level does not give room for proper engagement and education of the people.
““Therefore, when we are talking of inclusiveness in the cooperative sense, we still have a long way to go, and that is why our policy is advocating government partnership,’’ Akintola said.
The director harped on the need for the government to establish a “Cooperative Development Commission of Nigeria under the presidency.
Accirding to him, I think when we have this, it will be the beginning of good things to come, and the cooperative sector can be a very strong ally of government in development of Nigerians.
“”Cooperative existence in Nigeria portends a very great opportunity to engage the people and emancipate them from poverty.
““The youths have been adequately carried along in this year’s theme of “Sustainable Consumption and Production of Goods and Services.
“And I expect in the next two years, it will trigger a big revolution of progress, and jobs for the people.”
The Executive Secretary, Cooperative Financing Agency of Nigeria (CFAN), Mr Emmanuel Atama, said that the organisation had built strategic partnerships, to help it achieve its 2018 theme.
““We have built strategic partnerships with development institutions, the government and organised private sector to ensure that we realise the target of our theme, so that whatever we do will be sustainable.
“” We don’t just want to have it as a theme, we want to have it as a guide to every action we are going to take, and our sustained effort has earned us some international partners.
““ The International Finance Cooperation has been in the vanguard of renewable energy and through their guidance, we have been able to sign agreement with smarter grid, with respect to making renewable energy accessible to all.
““So, today, our partners are with us both at the local and international levels, and we are already experiencing the implementation of the various programmes.
““The programmes have to do with empowerment, access to renewable energy, cooperative housing delivery, agriculture value chain and financial inclusion,’’ Atama said.
He said that the various partners would ensure that the effort being made by CFAN presently remained sustainable.
The Director of Cooperative, Nasarawa State, Mr Micheal Mai-Lafia, urged co-operators to contribute to sustainable development and production of goods and services.
A representative of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mrs Victoria Amos, said that the bank had created special products that would fit the informal sector, through the cooperative body.
Amos said that the bank was making plans to provide affordable houses to Nigerians, and urged that citizens should key into the cooperative body to be able to benefit from the scheme.
The Managing Director, Smarter Grid International, Mrs Heather Onoh, expressed the company’s commitment to partner with CFAN to provide electricity to people at the base of the pyramid at an affordable rate.
She said that the company, while providing electricity to all, would also provide job opportunities for youths in the country.
Mr Emmanuel Auta, the President, Abegyi Housing Cooperative, also pledged the organisation’s commitment to partner with CFAN, to ensure available and affordable houses to people at the grass roots.