With an asset base of N1 trillion, annual savings/shares mobilisation of N850 billion, and the capacity to create about 600,000 jobs, the cooperative movement of Nigeria has sought the collaboration of the Federal Government to boost the nation’s economy, and create more jobs.
Besides its strong presence across the federation, the society also urged the three tiers government to be sincere, and generate the political will to emancipate the masses using the cooperative business model instruments to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor in Nigeria.The group argued that with the kind of attention government gave to microfinance banks in 2005/2006, if same is accorded the cooperative sector, the poverty level in the country would have been reduced to its barest minimum.
President/Chief Executive Officer, the Cooperative Rating and Award Society of Nigeria (CRASoN), Victor Oyegoke, who said aside oil, cooperative is the main driver of the economy, adding that no sector exists without a cooperative society.Speaking on the second edition of the cooperative awards and symposium in Lagos, Oyegoke said it was high time government began to focus on the sector.
To gain more recognition and relevance from government, the society came up with a cooperative (Coop) awards, to help benchmark all the cooperative awards that will spur development across boards.According to Oyegoke, the Nigerian National Cooperative Awards and Exhibitions, is a programme to celebrate excellence in cooperative leadership in Nigeria that would showcase their contributions to the economy, social impact on the community, and create awareness for the cooperative sub-sector.
“Cooperative is a drive to the economy and people should begin to focus on the sector. It is high time government started to focus on cooperative society. If they want to reach out to those at the grassroots to bridge the gap, they need to go the cooperative society for attention and support. It is a viable partner to government.
“With cooperative as the main driver of the economy, the non-oil sector has not gotten much attention from government. Government has not given the cooperative society the needed attention, and it is what CRASoN has researched in, which gave reasons for major issues that led to the establishment of the group.
“Cooperative is a vital tool to take people out of poverty. Modern cooperative was established in Nigeria since 1935, and has made landmark success since inception. No sector can exists without cooperative,” he said.Chairman, College of Juror, CRASoN, Muhammed Bello, who gave the list of qualified entities for recognition, said the cooperative society is a viable ally in the achievement of United Nations 2030 target on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In efforts to capture the traditional form of cooperative, he said sensitisation and awareness campaigns have been carried out across the country to reach out to the informal sector to drive a cooperative that can be registered for security of funds.