By mohammed Kandi
In a bid to revamp cooperative societies for the rural farmers in Nigeria, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has convened a stakeholders’ workshop to help small-holder farmers grow their businesses. Dr. Dickson Okolo, the Director, Federal Department of Cooperatives in the ministry disclosed that lack of access to credit facility was the bane of low level of investment and general poor performances by those engaged in small businesses.
The Director, according to a statement by Tony Ohaeri, the ministry’s Director of Information, said “the primary mandate of the three Federal Cooperative Colleges located in Ibadan, Kaduna and Oji River, and indeed all cooperatives colleges in the country was to provide cooperative education and training for cooperative societies, as well as financial cooperatives, whose responsibility is to provide micro-credit support to small scale enterprises, most of which are based in the rural areas.”
He also said that the meeting was imperative in order to discuss one of the important assignments of the department, under the 2014 work plan of the FGN/IFAD assisted Rural Finance Institution Building Project (RUFIN).
In her remarks, the Deputy National Co-ordinator, Rural Finance Institutions Building Project (RUFIN), Mrs. Uneku Uferuna, commended the workshop saying “this is to scrutinize the curricula of the FCC’s with a view to bringing it up to date with global best practices, while also emphasizing the need to include finance courses in the curricula of the FCC’s, since most cooperatives are finance-based.”
However, participants were drawn from the Federal Department of Cooperatives (FDC), Federal Colleges of Coperatives, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and the Rural Finance Institutions Building Project (RUFIN).