CEO, EFInA, Ms. Modupe Ladipo
Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) has suggested the use of co-operative organisations as channels for enhancing financial inclusion in the country.
A statement said EFInA gave this suggestion when it hosted an Innovation forum to highlight opportunities in using co-operatives as a channel for enhancing financial inclusion in Nigeria that was held recently.
Speaking at the event, Chief Executive Officer, EFInA, Ms. Modupe Ladipo, said: “There is a core and dedicated following of co-operatives in the Enugu, Kebbi and Oyo states, which is probably also replicated across Nigeria. Members regularly save and have a real demand for loans.
“Our data revealed that the 700 members interviewed in these three states saved over N243 million annually; and that the 150 managers interviewed, managed a loan portfolio of N122 million. Therefore, there is a significant potential for co-operatives to make a bigger impact amongst those who are un-banked or under-served.
“If optimised, co-operatives can be a force in empowering rural communities, farmers, women and micro entrepreneurs throughout Nigeria.”
The statement disclosed that traditional cooperatives were common in Nigeria, noting that these groups tended to be small, with a common bond based on membership of a kinship, societal and/or professional group.
According to the Federal Department of Co-operatives, as at 2010, there were over 80,000 co-operative groups with over 1.4 million members in 605 local government areas in Nigeria.
However, it pointed out that there have been limited systematic data on the co-operative sector in Nigeria, which hinders effective engagement with the sector.
In his keynote address titled, “Co-operatives as Potential Channel for Enhancing Financial Inclusion”, Minister of Co-operative Development and Marketing, Kenya, Mr. Nyagah, shared insights on how effective regulations can support the growth and development of co-operatives and maximise their impact on financial inclusion.
He said: “The role of Government is to create a conducive environment for growth and development of co-operatives through effective policies, overseeing development and administration of co-operative legislation and regulations. Cooperatives remain important in providing access to finance, and in particular credit to low income individuals given the rising cost of lending by banks.”
In our story titled "Honeywell Flour Shareholders Approve N12bn Dividends", published on Friday, September 28 on page 40 of the newspaper, we inadvertently reflected the wrong amount approved by the shareholders of the company as dividends in the headline. The correct figure is N1.2bn dividends.
The error is regretted - Editor