FG urged to leverage cooperatives for socio-economic programmes

The Federal Government has been urged to leverage the platform of the country’s 20million cooperative societies to effectively implement its socio-economic programmes.

High Chief Tajudeen Oriyomi, president of the Cooperative Federation of Nigeria (CFN) made the call at a press conference held to commemorate this year’s International Cooperatives Day.

Oriyomi emphasized the crucial role that cooperatives played in the socio-economic development of every country.

As president of the International Cooperative Alliance-Africa (ICA-Africa), he said the purpose of the celebration was to raise awareness about the contributions of the cooperative movement in addressing various global challenges.

Chief Oriyomi further explained that the first Saturday of July is designated by the International Cooperative Alliance for the celebration of International Cooperative Day, adding,”During this event, successes and challenges of cooperatives are highlighted, and plans are made for future growth and development while addressing identified obstacles.”

The theme for the 2023 International Cooperative Day was ‘Cooperatives for Sustainable Development,’ highlighting the significant contributions of cooperatives worldwide in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He said: “In Nigeria, cooperatives are in practically all spheres of human endeavour and all nooks and crannies of our rural and urban areas. Cooperative operations cover agriculture, health, transportation, manufacturing, production, housing and the most widely known, provision of affordable credit facilities for members.

“Many cooperatives across the country are involved in agriculture and manufacturing of agro-allied products. Cooperatives and co-operators in Nigeria have huge investments in land and water transportation, education (primary and secondary schools) housing and health facilities worth hundreds of billions of naira.

“In housing, many co-operators are home owners, courtesy of their cooperative societies whose terms are affordable. We are willing to do more for Nigerians in partnership with government through any of her agencies”

Chief Oriyomi appealed to the Federal Government to pay adequate attention to the cooperative sector, saying that cooperative was a veritable tool for driving sustainable programmes worldwide and had been recognized by the United Nations as a resilient business model.

“I therefore call on government to use the existing cooperative platforms for implementation of their socio-economic programmes for sustainable and better welfare for the Nigerian people.

“With over 20 million co-operative members across the country, we are willing to partner with the current administration in its stride to drive sustainable growth for our dear country particularly in the wake of government’s plan to roll out palliatives to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians”, he said.