LAGOS ASSEMBLY THIS WEEK
By Okunade Adekunle
Lagos State Government Set to Establish Cooperative College to Boost State Economy
The above emerged as the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Commerce and Industry held its stakeholders’ meeting on the bill to establish Lagos State Cooperative College and for Other Connected Matters, at the Lateef Jakande Auditorium of the Assembly Complex in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.
Speaking on the bill, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt (Hon) Mudashiru Obasa, who was represented by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun, explained that there is a need to regulate the activities of cooperative business and also to give statutory backing to the existence of a cooperative college in the state.
The Speaker added that one of the essence of the bill was to create a cooperative college that would roll out professional cooperative business operators and capable bookkeepers.
Obasa said the purpose of the stakeholders’ meeting is for the public to critic the bill so as to have a better bill content.
He 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 Speaker further stated: “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.”
In his comment, the Majority Leader of the Assembly, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, explained that the bill has 59 paragraphs and 2 schedules, stressing that the bill when passed into law would give legal backing and strengthening the cooperative college.
Addressing the participants, the Chairman House Committee on Commerce and Industry, Hon. Oladele Adekanye stated, “It (Bill) is meant to afford cooperators especially book keepers and the trustees the opportunity of getting better training.”
Adekanye said: “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.”
The Committee Chairman added “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 ordinary but who are deficient in term of acquisition of necessary skills to get trained.
Adekanye said the bill would afford Lagos State to rub shoulders with some others Southwestern states.
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 Southwest. So, it is unfortunate that this is happening now, but it is better late than never. The bill in question is timely as it aims to regulate the activities of Cooperative Societies exiting in the state.”
One of the stakeholders who is also the President, Zero Interest Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Alausa, Mr Abdulwaheed Baruwa, clamoured for 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, Mr Oriyomi Ayeola congratulated the state government and the Assembly for the move to provide legal status to cooperative college.
“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 said.
Also present at the stakeholders’ meeting were Hon. Olusola Sokunle (Oshodi/Isolo 1), Hon. Victor Akande (Ojo 1), Hon. Jude Idimogu (Oshodi/Isolo 2), Hon. Yishawu Gbolahan ( Eti-Osa 2), Hon. Rasheed Makinde (Ifako-Ijaiye 2) and the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni.