Â Paul Obi in Abuja
The Ministry of Defence Staff Agriculture Co-operative Society (MODACS) has urged its members to embrace economic empowerment and community development given the present economic recession.
The need to for its members to embrace economic empowerment came up as MODACS seeks to enhance members’ welfare and economic wellbeing.
The Societyâ€™s President, Comrade Babatunde Gbadamosi stated this at its fifth annual general meeting in Abuja recently, where he tasked members on the need to remain steadfast, focusing more on how to come out of the recession stronger.
Gbadamosi, while speaking at the event, added that â€œmembers need to imbibe economic and business activities as another source of income.â€
On the achievements of the MODACS group, he observed that the co-operative society â€œembarked on series of activities and improved on the existing one to ensure MODACS achieve its desire objectives.”
Also speaking on the matters arising, a member of MODACS, Eddie Igbanoi said: â€œCo-operative business stabilise communities, they pool limited resources to achieve a critical mass.
â€œThey enable their owners and members to generate income and jobs, and quality goods and services; and develop human and social capital, as well as economic independence,â€ Igbanoi stated.
He maintained that the importance of co-operative societies cannot be over-emphasised given that they â€œenable small holders to get stronger voice in the supply chain and foster gender equality.â€
The association further tasked it members to tap into the benefits of co-operative societies as a strategy of bettering their lives and improving their livelihoods both economically and socially, which will have ripple effects on their family members and other dependants.
The MODACS President informed the gathering of the resolve of the association to expand its reach to other members serving across the 36 states of the federation.
The forum also witnessed the adoption of MODACS new rules that would guide members in the running of the affairs of the association.
Economic empowerment and community development have been identified by various analysts both locally and globally as processes that can bring rapid development to the poor citizens around the world, and there are several initiatives by the government, private sector operators and other relevant stakeholders to make life better for the people.
One of the ways through which this is usually done is by empowering groups and organisations, rather than individuals, on different initiatives like skills acquisition, community development projects, and empowerment schemes.
Through these kinds of processes, more individuals and families are reached and positively affected, especially in ways to battle the effects of economic recession like the one currently being experienced in Nigeria.
Cooperative societies and groups like MODACS have also empowered their members through soft loans and grants to start up small businesses and economic ventures, for which they pay minimal interest with enough time given for the established ventures to grow and economically empower the members and their families.
Investment in agriculture has also served to empower several beneficiaries in the areas of aquaculture, snail farming, market gardening and vegetable cultivation, poultry and rearing of goats and pigs, all of which generate quick returns and allow those empowered to pay back their loans and still grow their businesses.