The Edo state Ministry of Business Trade and Cooperatives(MBTC)
has warned cooperatives stakeholders in the state to desist from investing investors money in ponzi scheme that can defraud unsuspecting members.
Mrs Enoma Efeomo gave the warning when presenting her papers titled “Cooperatives Legal Framework Bye-Laws As An Effective Tools “
According to Efeomo, “The ministry gives a guide (By-laws) upon registration of a cooperative, expecting that after a while, such by-laws are amended to suit specific needs of the cooperative society.
She said it was important to clarify that the Ministry of Business Trade and Cooperatives only regulates the activities of registered cooperatives, and does not make decisions regarding the distribution of loans.
“The daily operations of cooperatives are the responsibility of their members and leadership, not the Ministry. Efeomo emphasised.
“Cooperatives not registered with the Ministry of Business Trade and Cooperative are operating illegally as Cap 45 of 1976 applicable to Edo state makes registration of cooperatives mandatory “.Efeomo noted.
She emphasised that bylaws remain the”bible” of every cooperative society, adding that the bylaws are tailored to suit the unique needs of the various cooperatives.
Speaking earlier at the event, the Commissioner in the Edo State Ministry of Business Trade and Cooperatives(MBTC), Honorable Patrick Iria Uanseru, also charged stakeholders and trustees of cooperative societies in Edo South Senatorial District on the importance of cooperative society as a business model, describing it as a “serious business”.
The commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs. Bose Igbinobaro, gave the charge in his welcome address during a 2-day Workshop organized by the ministry.
The two-day workshop, with the theme ,”Consolidating the gains of cooperative societies in Edo State” was organised in collaboration with the Edo Cooperative Federation and supported by LAPO Microfinance Bank, was held at the John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPSA) in Benin City. The Academy is a state-of-the-art training facility that provides high-quality learning and development opportunities for public servants in Edo State.
“It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to this workshop, and I am confident that you will find the sessions informative and engaging.
“We are committed to working together to achieve our common goals, and I look forward to the fruitful collaboration and interaction that will take place during this event.
“Let us all work together to make Edo State a shining example of progress and development.” said the Commissioner.
The commissioner reminded the participants that as far as the workshop was concerned, the Edo State government was determined to improve the total well-being of its citizenry.
“May I underscore that one take you must bear in mind as far as this workshop is concerned, is that Government, I mean the Edo State Government under His Excellency, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, means well for you and remains your formidable partner in progress.
“At this juncture, I am super excited to welcome all of you to this workshop and wish you fruitful engagement and interaction. Together, we shall make Edo Great Again,” Hon. Uanseru said.
On his part, the President of the Edo Cooperative Federation, Mr. Falani Ojo urged Cooperatives operators to give executives to be responsible and do justice without bias, especially in loan administration, emphasizing that everyone must be given a sense of belonging.
Mr. Joel Edionwe former Permanent Secretary, MBTC, while speaking on “Cooperative Governance, said cooperative business contributes to making a resilient economy and gives members opportunities to harness knowledge.
Dr. Osamede Ugiagbe, speaking on “Cooperative Evolution and Bookkeeping”, opined that, cooperative societies just like any economic entity are required to keep proper and up-to-date records of their business transactions adding that, that the excellent performance of any cooperative society depends largely on proper bookkeeping.
Mrs Lillian Ehigiamusoe led other representatives from the Leave Above Poverty Organization ( LAPO) to showcase the products of the organization.
On his part, Revd. Aideyan Eghosa Joseph while speaking on “Cooperative Loan Management” charged participants to avoid sentiments when approving loans so as not to run into problems.
According to him, the character and integrity of applicants should be considered and capable sureties must be provided by the applicants before the release of loan proceeds adding that sureties be put in the know how much they are guaranteeing.
The training with over 170 attendees ends tomorrow and continues in Edo Central and North on the 6th and 7th December, 2023 at Irrua Specialist Hospital and Etsako West Local Government Area respectively.