The theme of the 2018 Lagos State Co-operative Federation (LASCOFED) Cooperative Leaders’ Conference is “EXPANDING CO-OPERATIVE FRONTIERS” with the sub-theme, “Co-operative Structure and Governance as a tool for unity.”
This annual programme is a strategic forum which enables co-operative leaders and stakeholders come together to review the events of the outgoing year with the view to planning and establishing action plans for the approaching year based on agreed resolutions of cooperators at the conference.
This years’ conference had in attendance participants from all the 21 Multipurpose Co-operative Unions in Lagos State as well as other affiliated associations.
- HIGHTLIGHTS OF EVENTS
At arrival, coo-operators were registered, given souvenirs and checked into their rooms.
The programme proper started on the second day with varieties of speeches and goodwill messages. The LASCOFED President speech and the Permanent Secretary; Ministry of Commerce Industry and Cooperatives formal opening and declaration speech were key among others.
- HEALTH TALK
A world class health talk and counselling was given by Dr. Olanike Ekekezie. She established her talk on the slogan that, “You are what you eat and drink”.
- GROUP DISCUSSION
Cooperators were divided into six groups with six different topics. After their extensive, thorough and interactive analysis of the topics, the following resolutions were presented:
GROUP 1: UNDERSTANDING LINKAGES AND INTERDEPENDENCE OF THE COOPERATIVE STRUCTURE: RECOMMENDATIONS
- That the cooperative structures are the primary societies, the secondary societies and the Federation LASCOFED.
- That the linkages are the areas of cooperation and connectivity within the movement which must be in accordance with the established cooperative bye laws.
- That areas of interface include: attending meetings and programmes, payment of dues, subscriptions, levies, etc., resolving disputes within and between societies and LASCOFED should be the link of cooperatives to the Ministry/Directorate.
- That investment, projects and businesses can be engaged jointly by these structures.
GROUP 2: Discussed the topic “STATUTORY ROLES OF ALL STAKEHOLDERS IN THE CO-OPERATIVE STRUCTURES”
The group resolved that; Cooperative Stakeholder is a person or group of persons whose action or reaction will affect the image of the society positively or negatively.
That the federation should provide enabling environment for societies and union businesses to thrive, and also to ensure regular and continuous co-operative education of members.
That there is need for separation of roles, functions and powers between the Federation and the Ministry in relating with the primary and secondary Cooperative Societies in line with international standard.
GROUP 3: This group discussed “LEGAL INSTRUMENTS FOR CO-OPERATIVE STRUCTURES”
The group highlighted various legal instruments as;
- Nigeria Co-operative Society Act
- Lagos State Co-operative Society Law
- Co-operative Society Bye-Law
- Operational Guidelines by the Directorate of Cooperatives
This group resolved that these legal instruments must be used as complements and must not contradict or contravene international standard, as cooperative is a global thing and not restricted to Lagos or Nigeria alone. Therefore, these instruments must create room expansion, development and advancement of cooperatives in all ramifications, and must not hinder the afore-mentioned.
Group 4: The group discussed “CHALLENGES AND BENEFITS OF UNITY OF THE COOPERATIVE MOVEMENT”.
The group highlighted individual difference, tribalism,finance, lack of effective communication and government policy as challenges while on the other hand effective communication, expansion and progress are possible benefits that could be derived from our unity.
They reiterated that areas of unity that bind us together should be reinforced at all levels of the Cooperative Movement.
Group 5: The group discussed “LASCOFED AS A SYMBOL OF UNITY”
They reiterated the fact that LASCOFED is an umbrella body for all primary cooperative societies. Thus, LASCOFED should promote effective communication by considering use of other platforms like social media to advocate unity and cohesion.
That LASCOFED should identify with primary societies during AGMs and also provide sustainable assistance to societies where need be particularly on investment opportunity.That LASCOFED and the Directorate should encourage the primary societies to fully identify with their secondary unions and by extension LASCOFED itself.
Group 6: The group discussed the topic “MOJODA RESORT: A MUST ACCOMPLISHED PROJECT”.
This group agreed that the idea of the project is a wonderful and brilliant one; which when accomplished will have unquantifiable multiplier effect on all stakeholders and the Movement.
It resolved that actualizing the project is quite possible through the use of all available legal means and robust sources of finance options, starting with members agreeing to a levy of N1,000 (one thousand Naira) per head of all cooperators in Lagos State. Sales of shares, call for loans, and investment capital that will attract dividends etc.
PLENARY III: PRACTICAL GUIDE AND MANAGEMENT OF BAKERY AND CONFECTIONARIES
As a round off for the plenary sessions, a learn by practice workshop on the baking of bread and confectionaries was held for delegates. All cooperators and guests including the President and all leaders were given apron, cap and glove for the baking practical. It was a session that was unimaginably interesting.
This communique Committee strongly believes that the six topics discussed at this 2018 Cooperative Leaders’ Conference should be taken as the Movement’s next four (4) year administrative agenda.
All the suggested resolutions by each Committee should be further developed into short and long achievable action plans which will take LASCOFED to the next level of greater heights.
- Shabi Ismail Oladele Epe MCU — Chairman
- HamzatAzeez A. Lagos Island — Member
- SosuOlaitan Emmanuel Ojo MCU — Member
- BlamohAdewale Eti-Osa MCU — Member
- AdeoyeOmotilewaAdetutu Somolu — Secretary