COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY PARTICIPANTS AT THE COOPERATIVE FEDERATION OF NIGERIA WORKSHOP/ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING HELD AT THE HILLS STATION HOTEL JOS, PLATEAU STATE ON 24TH -25TH NOVEMBER, 2015
The National Workshop/Annual General meeting was organized by the Co-operative Federation of Nigeria (PLASCOFED) with the theme: ‘Securing reliable co-operative capital for Enhance Job creation and Employment in Nigeria; challenges and prospects;
The workshop/Annual General Meeting recorded impressive participation from National and State Apexes across Nigeria, various cooperative societies, stakeholder’s associations development partners and the government. the welcome address was presented by the President of PLASCOFED, Mr. Shamee Jos presented an address. Mr. Emmanuel Atama, Executive Secretary of Ntional Cooperative Financing Agency of Nigeria (CFAN) presented the goodwill message.
His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Plateau State, RT, Hon. Simon Bako Lalong ably represented by the deputy Governor, prof. Soni Tyoden Declared the occasion opened. The Governor among others pledged the State Governor Movement in Nigeria by taking our call for support to the Governors forum of Nigeria and for Plateau State in Particular, Government forum of Nigeria and for Plateau State in particular, Government will ensure that relevant bodies required to be constituted at State levels in the National Cooperative development policy as well as ensuring that the Cooperative Movement play a key role in the Plateau State MSMEDF for Cooperatives.
The keynote speaker, Dr. Festus U. Agbo presented a paper on the theme of the workshop/Annual General Meeting tagged: ‘Securing Reliable Co-operative capital for Enhanced Job creation and Employment in Nigeria; Challenges and prospects;
Chief Ebikiri Akpolo gave the vote of thanks urging the Government of Plateau State to make good its promise of Partnering the Cooperative movement at the grass root.
- There is the need to build strong and virile cooperative Apexex in Nigeria.
- Two main challenges to cooperatives – accessibility and funding deficit, funding agencies give what is likened to poisoned chalice.
- There is the need to improve on our approach to advocacy in the Cooperative movement.
- Government should provide the enabling environment for cooperative to thrive, and should partner with the cooperative movement to drive development programmes especially, at the grass roots.
- The movement should get its priorities right, and should not fail to do the needful as require by the Cooperative principles, rather than engage in blame game of either the apexex or the Government.
- There is the need to build structure and employ the required technology to improve on transparency, accountability, good corporate governance and enhanced reporting system.
- There is also the need to build a reliable data base that will enable development partners and Government to appreciate the challenges cooperatives and identify areas that require intervention.
- All hands should be on deck for the attainment of the identified goals.
- There is the need to improve on advocacy and information dissemination at all levels.
- There is the need to immediately set-up the necessary infrastructure for the take-off of the National Cooperative Development Fund (NCDF) as a stepping stone establishing a National Coop to guarantee greater access to Bank finance for cooperative societies in Nigeria.
- Cooperative Societies should operate by the cooperative principle to avoid over –dependence on Government
- That there is the need to improve on cooperative data Analysis system (CODAS) to effectively capture all functional cooperatives in Nigeria, so as to produce the required data that will enhance better policies and planning for cooperatives.
- Transparency, good corporate governance and global best practice should be entrenched in the management of cooperative societies in Nigeria.
- Finally, the general disconnect in the cooperative sector, especially between the Apexes and affiliates should be bridged to enhance good communication and members’ education.