NIGERIA: The Cooperative Rating and Award Society of Nigeria (CRASoN), has stressed on the need for the federal and state governments as well as private entities to commit financial resources and technical know-how into cooperative ventures.
Speaking in Lagos recently, ahead of its award night, the Chief Executive Officer, CRASoN, Mr. Victor Oyegoke, said the association focuses on monitoring and tracking cooperative societies in Nigeria in other to weigh their impacts on Nigerian economy and boost their capacities.
Oyegoke, explained that cooperative societies has the capabilities to turn around the economy of Nigeria for better, noting that the sector contributes significantly to the country’s economy going by the number of persons it employs in productive ventures.
According to him, cooperative societies hold well above N5 billion as its share of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). He maintained that government should take cooperative business very serious, as according to him, such elevates the world by helping in poverty alleviation in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He said: “Most great nations rose to where they are through cooperative enterprises, and a good number of them give top priority to the activities of its cooperative societies as a driving force of their economy.
“We want government to channel recovered looted funds into cooperative businesses by supporting existing ones especially in the agricultural sector with finance, an enabling environment, and technical know-how to revamp the economy.”
Oyegoke, further called on the national assembly look into the Nigerian Cooperative Act with a view to reforming it, saying the existing one had become outdated, as it was last amended in 2004.
“I enjoin people to come together to think of cooperative ventures (Not political cooperatives) as a viable and feasible means of making impact to oneself and the economy as a whole. We are doing everything possible to take Nigeria’s cooperatives to meet up with international counterparts of great economies”, he said.
Oyegoke, however, stressed that CRAoS, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Department of Cooperatives would award some outstanding cooperative societies and some key stakeholders that have contributed immensely to the growth of cooperative enterprises.