Edo Commissioner preaches collaboration with cooperative societies

The Honourable Commissioner in the Ministry of Business, Trade and Cooperatives , Honourable. Patrick Iria Uanseru, has called for more collaborative efforts from all cooperative societies in Edo state.

Hon. Uanseru made the call at the John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPSA) during an all stakeholders meeting with executive members of cooperative societies across Edo state.

The Commissioner in his opening remarks said that, in line with the Make Edo Great Again (MEGA) vision of the executive governor of Edo State, Dr. Godwin Obaseki, cooperatives across the state , must rise up to their responsibilities for the socio-economic development of Edo State.

The Commissioner provided an overview of the Ministry’s mission, goals, and key initiatives for cooperatives operating in the state.

Hon. Uanseru while emphasizing that, the issues of accountability and transparancy were sacrosanct, frowned at situations where cooperatives blatantly go against the law by refusing to make their books available for auditing.

He warned unregistered cooperatives parading themselves as fully functional cooperatives to desist and do the needful by getting registered with the ministry.

Representatives from various cooperatives shared insights into their respective cooperative societies, highlighting their contributions to the local economy and the challenges they face.

These challenges included access to finance, technical training, marketing support, and infrastructure.

There were various contributions on how the Ministry and cooperatives could collaborate effectively.

Several potential areas of collaboration were also identified.

On capacity building, Hon. Uanseru said that, the Ministry was will be organizing trainings and workshops to enhance the skills and knowledge of cooperative members, focusing on areas such as business management, financial literacy, and modern agricultural, as well as strategies for marketing cooperative products both locally and internationally.

He suggested organising trade fairs, exhibitions, and linking cooperatives with potential buyers.

Addressing the issue of finance, he said, the ministry proposed the establishment of a cooperative partnership with financial institutions to facilitate easier access to loans and grants for cooperative members.

He gave the assurance that, the Ministry of cooperatives was committed to advocacy policies that promote and protect cooperative interests.

The Commissioner expressed enthusiasm about the potential impact of the collaborative efforts and thanked the cooperative representatives for their valuable inputs.

He reiterated the ministry’s commitment to working closely with the cooperatives to achieve shared goals.

At the end of the meeting, a joint action plan was drafted, outlining specific steps and timelines for collaboration. These among others included, regular stakeholder meetings to monitor progress and address challenges; development of training programs tailored to cooperative needs; identification of suitable markets for cooperative products.

Executive members from a total of 69 cooperatives societies were present at the meeting.