Obaseki’s determination to uplift Edo people unwavering, says Commissioner
The Edo State Commissioner for Business, Trade and Cooperatives, Hon. Patrick Iria Uanseru, has reiterated the commitment of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration to uplift the standard of living of the citizens and residents of the state.
The Commissioner spoke during a 2-day workshop organized by the ministry.
The 2-day event had the theme: “Consolidating the Gain of Cooperative Society in Edo State,” which was organized 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 Commissioner, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs. Bose Igbinobaro, while speaking to stakeholders stressed the importance of working together to uplift the state in order to make a shining example of progress.
He was quoted as saying,”Let us all work together to make Edo State a shining example of progress and development,” adding, “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.
“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.”
While presenting a paper titled, “Cooperative Legal Framework: Bye-laws As An Effective Tool,” the Director of Cooperatives in the ministry, Mrs. Enoma Efeomo, warned participants against cooperative societies investing co-operators’ hard-earned money in Ponzi schemes because the ministry will not hesitate to to wield the big stick should that happen.
She noted that the bylaws remain the “Bible” of every cooperative society, adding that the bylaws are tailored to suit the unique needs of the various cooperatives.
According to her, “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 further 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 added.
She further said, “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.”
On his part, the President of the Edo Cooperative Federation, Mr. Falani Ojo, urged executives of cooperatives to be responsible and do justice without bias, especially in loan administration, emphasizing that everyone must be given a sense of belonging.
A former Permanent Secretary, Mr. Joel Edionwe, Secretary of MBTC, while speaking on the topic: “Cooperative Governance, said cooperative business contributes to making a resilient economy and gives members opportunities to harness knowledge.
A scholar, Dr. Osamede Ugiagbe, who spoke 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 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 the topic, “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 must be put in the know on how much they are guaranteeing.