“My Ministry Has Worked Out Modalities To Ease Access of Cooperatives to Credit Facilities” – Hajiya Yar’adua
The Niger State Commissioner for Investment, Commerce and Industry, Hajiya Rahmatu Mohammed Yar’adua has disclosed that, her ministry has worked out modalities to ease access of cooperatives to credit facilities adding that “we have streamlined, restructured and recertified the activities of the cooperatives in Niger State to make them viable and responsive to its members”.
Yar’adua made the disclosure during the just concluded 6th regular meeting of the national council on cooperative affairs tagged “Strengthening the cooperative sector for effective contribution to the socio-economic development in Nigeria” that was held in Minna, Niger State Capital.
She stated that, the regular meeting is timely given the increased need for poverty alleviation and job creation arising from the current economic recession adding that, the cooperative is about people working together to meet their common needs and aspirations which has now become a very important business model in more than 90 countries and a population of over 1 billion members.
The commissioner made known that, Niger State has an open door policy in respect to cooperative activities and any other schemes that can make a positive impact on the lives of the people. Quoting the commissioner, she said “when this administration came on board in May 2015, Mr. Governor made it a priority to obtain a legislative backing for the establishment of the financial agency for cooperative societies named Niger Cooperative Financing Agency, NICOFA, which directly coordinates and empowers our rural women and artisans of various categories in the state to generate employment.
She spoke further enumerating some of the achievements recorded by the agency which include ; a membership of 5,200 affiliate cooperative societies, a capital base of over fifty-two million naira, the disbursement of over 34 million naira to 104 cooperative societies and a retreat for the agency’s management committee while noting that, the Niger State Government under the pro-development leadership of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has provided an enabling environment for NICOFA staff to perform their duties effectively.
In his keynote address, the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh OFR, urged the council to exhaustively deliberate and come out with a strategy for the successful implementation of the Agricultural Promotion Policy (2016-2020) otherwise referred to as the “GREEN ALTERNATIVE” of this administration in their various states while noting that, the National Council on Cooperative Affairs is a very important part of his ministry and plays a pivotal role in influencing and galvanizing the very strong membership of the Nigeria cooperative movement into actively engaging its members in ensuring the success of President Muhammad Buhari (GCFR) Green Alternative Program.
Delivering his address, his Excellency, the Governor of Niger State, Alhaji (Dr.) Abubakar Sani Bello expressed his delightfulness while noting that, Niger State is always ready and will remain committed in hosting events of such magnitude “because it affords us the opportunity to peer-review and benchmark our activities in adopting the best practices that guarantee the development of Nigerlites”.
The Governor added that, the altruistic need to work in small groups confirms our determination in Niger State to incline towards participative governance where we create the needed platform for the people to participate in the overall development of the State. In his words “our target is to establish wide-spread, rural oriented socio-economic based cooperatives that will have positive impact on especially, the lives of Nigelites and Nigerians at large”.