The South-East Cooperatives Forum is to establish Cooperative Bank with initial capital of N lO billion in the zone before the end of 2016.
The South-East Cooperatives Forum is to establish Cooperative Bank with initial capital of N10 billion in the zone before the end of 2016.
Dr Geoffrey Madu, the President of the Forum disclosed this in an address he presented during the opening ceremony of the 1st International Cooperatives Investment Forum and Exhibition starting in Owerri yesterday.
Madu said the bank when fully operational would easy financial challenges faced by co-operators. He said that plans had reached advance stage on the project, adding the several investors have shown interest to partner the forum on the establishment of the bank.
Although Madu did not name the state to host the bank, he hinted that the forum hope to liaise with the Managing Director of Fortis Microfinance bank and Rep. Henry Nwawuba to obtain the Central Bank license.
He said that the investment forum and exhibition was organised to equip participants drawn
from the five south-eastern states of Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Anam- bra and Imo on emerging trend to advance co-operative society.
Henry Nwawuba, the Member representing MbaitoMkedu- m Federal Constituency of Imo State at the House of Representatives said Cooperative society has the potential to engage more than 20 million Nigerians.
Nwawuba, the guest speaker at the event spoke while presenting a paper entitled: “The Role of Cooperatives in Enhancing Empowerment Growth’’.
The federal lawmaker who stated that over 800 million people across the world are registered cooperative members, regretted that Nigeria has about 90, 000 out of the world figure.
’Information obtained from the International Cooperatives Association web shows that 160 million people are provided jobs through cooperatives in Canada, 109, 000 in Colombia, while in Brazil, India, and Argentina over 9 million are members’’, he said.
Nwawuba who described cooperative as the best way to bring people into financial system urged Nigerians to massively embrace cooperative to tackle problem ofmass unemployment.
Although he identified some challenges plaguing the growth of cooperatives, he said that introducing cooperatives studies in the nation’s education curriculum and putting resources together to boost cooperatives was the way forward.
Dr Chux Eze, the Managing Director of Rockspring Nigeria Ltd in another paper presentation stressed the need for cooperators to acquaint themselves with ICT knowledge.
Eze whose paper centred on the Importance of ICT in Advancing Cooperative Society said it would be difficult for a co-operator to interface, interact, and advertise his products without ICT.
He also urged participants to ensure they have bank accounts, and use mobile phone and establish links with other.
Alhaji Aminu Bizi, the Managing Director of Bizi Mobile Cashless Consultant, Kano urged the participants to adopt mobile cashless system to drive their business, noting that it guarantees financial security.
HRH Eze Innocent Ude, the traditional Ruler of Obuofia Nkporo in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia described the five days workshop and exhibition as rewarding and called on the youths to embrace cooperative society.
Ude also stressed the need for access to credit facilities and other incentives to grow the sector in the South-East geo-political zone.
– Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri