The Lagos State Government said on Tuesday that it would not renege on its drive of having viable and formidable Cooperative Societies in the state.
Mr Akorede Ojomu, Provost, Lagos State Cooperative College gave the assurance at the end of a three- day training programme for newly inducted cooperative societies and the existing ones at Agege, Lagos.
Ojomu said the training was put together to improve the running of the cooperative societies efficiently for the benefit of members and to develop the informal sector for sustainable socio-economic growth.
“The idea of these trainings are to prepare them ahead for the task of running successful cooperative societies.
“It is assumed they don’t have cooperative management idea before now, that is why training is compulsory so as to widen their knowledge on cooperative business activities.
“This was demonstrated with the organisation of various human capacity building training programmes in the areas of ‘Essential Skills in Cooperative Management, Basic Cooperative Management Tools; Corporate Governance in Cooperatives and Induction Course,” he said
The provost noted that cooperative society was unique in management hence the need for trainings.
“For instance, cooperative societies are democratic in all ramification which may not be so in other business climes.
“Moreso, profit maximisation is not the sole aim of cooperators because the owners are also the customers.
“So you do not make profit from yourself, rather, what we make in cooperative is called surplus. When managing a cooperative, these are things you have to put into consideration,” Ojomu explained.
Mr Sahed Ademuren a participant from Al’usra Cooperative Society, University of Lagos said the training was satisfactory, as he got acquainted with the policies of running an efficient cooperative society.
Mrs Anu Oluwatoyin, another participant, said: “The programme has been really enlightening. There are certain things we do that we don’t know they are wrong, but coming here has exposed them.
“Especially on accounting and auditing, we have learnt how to tackle things better, and on business modelling, we were taught how we should relate with the cooperators.
“As leaders, you don’t see yourself as overall boss, let the benefit of people be paramount and everything must be centered on the welfare of the cooperators first before the leaders,” she said.
Miss Bunmi Oso from Friesland Foods, Wamco Staff Multipurpose Cooperative Society, said the training was an eye opener and they were advised not to be involved in fraud and illegality.
Mr Bako Umaru, Maritime Division Staff, Apapa Cooperative Staff Limited, said that they learnt never to use members’ contributions for long term investments because there must always be fund to finance their loan requests.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Lagos State Cooperative College is the tertiary institution arm of Lagos State Government with the mandate of providing sound cooperative education and high skill manpower for cooperative movement.
It also provides economic empowerment as a channel for acquisition of appropriate entrepreneurial skills. (NAN)