OPENING ADDRESS BY THE PERMANENT SECRETARY, ALH. UTHMAN UMAR, NIGER STATE MINISTRY OF INVESTMENT, COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY AT THE CFN 5TH CONGRESS AND NATIONAL WORKSHOP ON “INCLUSION – COOPERATIVES ENSURE THAT NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND” HOLDING IN MINNA FROM 6TH – 7TH NOVEMBER, 2017.
It is my pleasure to welcome you all to this epoch making event which is the 5th Congress and National Workshop on “Inclusion: Cooperatives Ensure that No One is Left Behind” holding here today in Minna, Niger State.
The theme of this gathering is no doubt the total summation of cooperative movement, its mission and vision. The struggles and total determination to succeed together is among the cardinal objectives of any cooperative organization throughout the world.
The emergence of modern cooperative in Great Britain in1844 is the result of a collective endeavor to face the challenges of economic hardship partly brought about by the unfortunate consequences of the First World War. It was then that people discovered and reasoned that, for the poor people to survive, they had to strive together without leaving anyone out.
The Cooperative Federation of Nigeria deserves a pat on the back for its determination and commitment to the sustainable development of the cooperative movement in Nigeria. With full confidence, I want to state here for the information of everyone present, that Niger State has long identified the importance of the Cooperative movement and will not relent in its effort to move it to the next level.
Coming from the background of societies for only the unfortunate members of the society to the level of informed membership as can be seen from the size and capital outlay of the Civil Servant Cooperative Societies now existing in the state, socio-economic development of our state and nation.
May I also seize this opportunity on behalf of the government and people of Niger State to express our gratitude to the Cooperative Federation of Nigeria (CFN) for the confidence reposed in us through the rare privilege of hosting this event, the second in the series within the year and to assure you of our readiness to always contribute our quota to the development of cooperative movement in the country.
For those coming to the state for the first time, I invite you to savor every moment with utmost joy as Niger State has a lot to offer in terms of rich and diverse culture and hospitality. However, not minding the warmth and security advantages enjoyed by the state, I implore you to be security conscious and to seek the services of the event organizers and hosts on any issue that creates doubts in your minds.
May I at this juncture intimate you about the commitment of the administration of His Excellency, Alh. (Dr.) Abubakar Sani Bello the Executive Governor of Niger State to improve the socio-economic status of the state. In realization of the significant roles that the cooperative movement plays in the aspiration, the Executive Governor has taken commendable steps towards promoting the cooperative strategy in the implementation of government intervention initiatives like the CBN-MSMEDF, Farmers Anchor Borrower Scheme, etc.
It may also please you to note that Niger State Government had long keyed into the CODAS System and embarked upon the recertification of registered societies towards making the subsector meet modern demands of economic development.
One other commendable effort of this administration towards cooperative development is the establishment of the Niger Cooperative Financing Agency, the significance of which you all are aware.
Time will not permit me to exhaust the list, but kindly permit me to commend the effort of the present administration in renovating the Cooperative Department Headquarter in Minna for the very first time ever since the construction of the facility.
With these few remarks, I wish to declare the congress open and wish you happy and fruitful deliberations.