The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, on Thursday said the establishment of Lagos State Cooperative College would further enhance the economic progress of the state.
Obasa spoke at a Public Hearing on a Bill for a Law to Establish the Lagos State Cooperative College and for Connected Matters, organised by the House Committee on Commerce and Industry, led by Hon. Oladele Adekanye.
The Speaker, who was represented by his deputy, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, said the bill, when passed into law, would afford cooperators with adequate skills for economic promotion.
Obasa said: “This bill is geared towards effective administration of cooperative societies and enhancing the economic progress of the state.
“If the bill is passed into law, it will ensure the qualitative training of cooperators who with their professional skills in turn promote the economic activities.
“The bill when passed into law also will empower the college to provide courses of instructions leading to the award of degrees, diplomas and certificates and other studies as prescribed by the college.
“This bill, which seeks to give statutory backing to the Lagos State Cooperative College, will go a long way in the production of seasoned and well-trained cooperators to enhance the cooperative movement in the state.”
Speaking with newsmen at the end of the event, Adekanye said: “It (Bill) is meant to afford cooperators, especially book keepers and the trustees, the opportunity of getting better training.
“Hitherto, we have had cases of fraud and misunderstanding among cooperators.
“It is not in every occasion that we have this problem that we can trace it to people having the mind to defraud the cooperative societies.
“Sometimes, it has been happening because necessary trainings have not been given to them.
“Many of them do not have a wherewithal in terms of training that would enhance their knowledge and that would promote the economic interest of members of such cooperatives.
“We can’t take that for granted.
“Apart from people who have the mind to defraud cooperative societies, there are some people that are genuinely not armed and fortified with the needed training and expertise.”
According to him, this bill will afford such people that have good intention ordinarily, but who are deficient in term of acquisition of necessary skills to get trained.
Adekanye said the bill would afford Lagos State to be at par with its counterparts in the South West region.
He said: “If I must say it, this is the only state that is left behind in terms of having this kind of college that is certified in the South West.”
One of the stakeholders, Abdulwaheed Baruwa, the President, Zero Interest Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Alausa, advocated the inclusion of Islamic Finance Mechanism in the curriculum of the college.
Baruwa called for inclusion of experts in Islamic financial system in the governing council of the college.
Speaking on behalf of the Cooperative Movement in Lagos State, Oriyomi Ayeola congratulated the state government and the Assembly for the move to provide legal status to cooperative college.
Ayeola said: “Lagos State Cooperative is the most outstanding cooperative movement in Nigeria.
“By giving legal status to the college, it will strengthen the cooperative activities in the state.
“Very soon, we shall be talking of University of Cooperatives in Lagos.”
Ayeola is the President of the Lagos State Cooperative Federation.