Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says partnership of cooperatives with government ensures that government services and programmes get to the right people.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Tuesday, said the vice president received, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, a delegation from the Cooperative Federation of Nigeria (CFN).
The delegation was led by CFN President, Chief Tajudeen Ayeola.
“Cooperatives are an important part of our strategy in ensuring that the largest number of Nigerians has access to government programmes.
“The partnership of cooperatives with government is possibly the only way of doing so in an efficient manner that ensures that government services and programmes get to the right people.
“`Cooperatives give their memberships the leverage to be able to take facilities and make sure those facilities are returned.
“They also have more knowledge of their individual members.’’
He said that the rationale for cooperatives even in the 50s remained relevant.
The vice president said that cooperatives in the Western Region and across the country were very helpful and even became important pillars in economic development.
“We thought that cooperatives would be very useful in all the programmes around the Economic Sustainability Plan.
“One of them is the Family Homes Funds and our plans to build 300,000 social housing units.
“The case for cooperatives is very well made, and what we must do as a government is look for ways of cooperating with the Cooperative Associations in ensuring that we are able to get this moving,” he said.
In his remarks, Ayeola said that the CFN wanted the intervention of the Federal Government in reviewing the Nigerian Cooperative Societies Act which had become obsolete in the face of operations of modern cooperatives.
He added that such a review would ensure more effective collaboration with Federal Government’s strategy to ensure a larger number of Nigerians benefitted from the many intervention schemes of the administration.
Ayeola listed such schemes as the Social Housing Scheme which message he said the CFN was already spreading across its 20 million members across the country.
On his part, Mr Femi Adewole, Managing Director of Family Homes Fund (FHF) which implements the Social Housing element of the ESP, gave an update on the work done so far concerning the National Social Housing Programme.
He said as at year-end 2021, 17,281 homes were at various stages of construction, either completed or in progress across 15 States.
Adewole said that while awaiting disbursements from the Central Bank of Nigeria, FHF was able to mobilise other resources.
He listed resources such as N10 billion from the Ministry of Finance, 60 million dollars from the African Development Bank, 20million Euros from Agence Française De Développement, and about N20billion recycled capital from sales of completed property to execute the Social Housing programme for last year.
“For 2022, FHF expects to do 20,640 units using its own resources, but CBN disbursements would avail the opportunity to do even much more than that,’’ he said.
Adewole said that in order for the Social Housing scheme to reach a wider target audience outside of those in formal employment, particularly the large population of citizens in the informal sector, FHF entered into a partnership with CFN in May 2021.
He said that the objective was to leverage CFN’s to mobilise demands in groups from people in the informal sector.