President of CFN, Chief Oriyomi Ayeola
The Cooperative Federation of Nigeria (CFN) has told cooperative societies in the country that if they must survive the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and current economic crisis in the country, they should not only remain united but also increase their level of cooperation.
The advice was contained in a message by the President of CFN, Chief Oriyomi Ayeola, to commemorate the International Day of Cooperatives.
The first Saturday in July every year is reserved for the cooperative movement worldwide to showcase the successes, challenges and opportunities of cooperatives as a business model.
According to him, the July 3, 2021 edition marks the 99th celebration by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and 27th by the United Nations. It is themed ‘Rebuild Better Together’ in recognition of the need for everyone to pick up after the disruption to socio-economic lives and livelihoods caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said: “Aside the COVID-19 pandemic, our country is at this point in time faced with other challenges like rising cost of items as a result of the rise in exchange rates, insecurity characterised by kidnapping, banditry and other restiveness across the country.
“These have devastating effect on businesses, including cooperative operations and continue to impact on livelihoods and socio-economic well-being of Nigerians. The food security agenda is under serious threat as many farmers including cooperative farmers are unable to go to their farms.
This calls for innovative methods of food production, more collaborations and partnerships with government and corporate bodies.
“Rebuilding Better Together necessitates involving everyone including women and youths.”As an umbrella body, he said the CFN had initiated ways of capturing the involvement of groups in cooperatives towards boosting their activities, details of which would be released at the 6th National Cooperative Summit.
He commended leaders of cooperatives for efforts made so far to support members, saying: “Fellow cooperators, let me first acknowledge the resilience of the cooperatives and in particular the leadership of all cooperative societies in Nigeria for their responsiveness to the need of members by giving necessary succour to them at the peak of the pandemic. Cooperative leaders responded with various conventional and innovative ways to mitigate the challenges by embracing information technology for loan applications and disbursement, holding on-line meetings, including the conduct of annual general meetings and elections.
“It is my pleasure to join the Presidents of International CooperativeAlliance (ICA) Global and Africa to wish all cooperators well on this occasion of the celebration of the 2021 International Day of Cooperatives.”
He also appreciated the Federal Government for setting up the Economic Sustainability Committee under the leadership of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, for various programmes and initiatives put together to rejig the economy, post Covid-19.
“The attention given to Housing and Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises (MSMEs) of which many cooperatives benefitted is well
appreciated. I am happy to inform you that Cooperative Federation of Nigeria has partnered with the implementing agency of the government, Family Homes Funds, to provide off takers for the National Social Housing Programme.? Many cooperative societies across the country have already keyed into the programme,” he added.