By Taiwo Okanlawon
Lagos State government has organized various human capacity building training programmes for Cooperative Societies in the state to develop the informal sector for sustainable socio-economic growth.
According to a statement by Lagos State Cooperative College and signed by its Public Affairs Officer, Hassan Jamiu, the government is not reneging on its drive of having viable and formidable cooperative societies.
The rogrammes were organized in the areas of ‘Essential Skills in Cooperative Management, Basic Cooperative Management Tools; Corporate Governance in Cooperatives and Induction Course’.
The training programmes were put together by the Lagos State Cooperative College, at Agege in Lagos for both newly inducted Cooperative Societies and the existing ones in order to improve the running of their societies efficiently for the benefit of members.
Speaking at the commencement of the training programmes, the Provost of the College, Mr. Akorede Ojomu, said that the purpose of the workshop was to prepare the newly inducted Cooperatives Societies for the challenges of running a Cooperative business successfully and to widening knowledge on Cooperative business activities for the old and new societies.
“The idea of these trainings are to prepare you ahead for the task of running a successful cooperative society. It is assumed that you don’t have cooperative management idea before now and that is why before you are even given a certificate, it is compulsory you pass through this training.”
“When it comes to managing Cooperatives Societies, there are somethings that are unique to Cooperatives management that are not found in the running of other businesses. It is those differences that we are trying to fill with these trainings.
“For instance, Cooperative is democratic in all ramification which may not be so in other business Clime. Moreso, profit maximization is not the sole aim of cooperators because the owners are also the customers. So you don’t make profit from yourself rather what we make in cooperative is called surplus. When managing a Cooperative, these are somethings you have to put into consideration,” he added.
In the next few days, he concluded that participants would be exposed to auditing, accounting and research methodology amongst others.
Relaying their experiences from the training programme; Mr. Sahed Ademuren a participant from Al’usra Cooperative Society, University of Lagos, said,”the training has been well expository and satisfactory. We have been able to get very well acquainted with the policies of running an efficient cooperative society.”
Mrs. Anu oluwatoyin from Senior Staff University of Lagos Cooperative Society said, ‘the programme has been really enlightened. There are somethings we do that we don’t know they are wrong but coming here has exposed them.
“There are some points the lecturers on accounting and auditing mentioned that we need to work on in our society. The lectures have made things simple, so when we go back there, we know how to tackle things better. On business modelling, the lecturer taught us how we should relate with the cooperators.
“As leaders you don’t see yourself as overall boss, let the benefit of people be paramount. They also mentioned seven principles about Cooperative Movement and everything centered on the welfare of the cooperators first before the leaders.”
Miss Bunmi Oso from Friesland Foods Wamco Staff Multipurpose Cooperative Society: “It has been an interactive session, the facilitators are seasoned. It has been a great eye opener and a learning exercise and very eventful.”
Mr. Bako Secretary, Maritime Division Staff, Apapa Cooperative Staff limited: “I wish the college would do more of this and extend it, so we can bring our staff here for more training in accounting & computer as we don’t have competent hands in these areas. I have learnt that we don’t use members contributions for long term investment because there must always be fund to finance their loan requests, that you should serve the people and not yourself and not to be involved in fraud and illegality.
“If you want to go into business ventures, you shouldn’t decide yourself, you must have to form a committee from members to manage the business and infact, all investments or projects of capital nature should be decided by members, they are the ones to tell you what to do.”
The Lagos State Cooperative College is the tertiary institution arm of Lagos State Government with the mandate of providing sound Cooperative Education, high skill manpower for Cooperative Movement, Economic Empowerment and the acquisition of appropriate entrepreneurial skills.