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Cooperative official urges govt of Nigeria on collaboration

ABUJA– As the world marks 2022 International Cooperative Day today [Saturday], the President of Cooperative Federation of Nigeria [CFN] and International Cooperative Alliance-Africa, Chief Oriyomi Ayeola has called on Federal and state governments in Nigeria to support efforts by the cooperative movement to revamp and boost economies, among other functions.

International Cooperative Day is celebrated annually on the first Saturday in July by Global Cooperative Movement since 1923 and the United Nations since 1995. As a global movement, this year’s celebration will be the 100th International Cooperative Day. Similarly, this year marks a decade since the United Nations named 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives in recognition of the cooperative business model despite the failing economy worldwide.

Oriyomi’s call is contained in a special statement issued to commemorate the day and address members of cooperative societies in Nigeria and Africa at large.

Describing the theme for this year’s celebration ‘Coops Build a Better World’ as apt and timely, considering the pervasive downturn in all spheres and sectors in the world, he said the theme would help to address the challenges.

He said, “The theme of this year’s celebration is Coops Build a Better World. This is in appreciation of cooperatives’ dedication and adherence to standards, moral and ethical values; which are entrenched in the cooperative principles that build people’s social network and generate healthy communities and national peace.

“According to the Cooperative Monitor published by the International Cooperative Alliance [ICA], cooperative members across the world represent 12 per cent of humanity. This is a pointer to the fact that many people across the world are embracing the Cooperative Business Model. In Nigeria, we have well over 40 million cooperators spread in all the sectors of the Nigerian economy providing succour to members and non-members alike.

“Cooperatives are businesses driven by values and not by remuneration; therefore, members through over three million cooperatives across the globe act together to build a better world by helping members achieve individual goals through collective contributions.”

He lamented that in spite of cooperative’s contribution to a better world, cooperatives in Nigeria are faced with many challenges, among them is lack of adequate attention by the government, inadequate and obsolete regulations, inadequate monitoring and control, threatening inflation, general insecurity, Covid-19 pandemic, which devastating effect is still being felt.

While he appreciated federal and state governments, for their contributions over the years, he called for adequate attention by the governments.

He listed areas cooperative contribute to revamping the economy to include food security through agriculture.

“Nigeria, as the largest producer of cassava in the world, it’s able to achieve the feat due to the active participation of cooperative farmers in cassava production,” he said.

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