Gboyega Akinsanmi

Following recurrent cases of accidents and deaths among members of all registered cooperative societies in the state, the Lagos State Government, has appointed a consortium of seven insurance companies to mitigate losses that they might incur.

The Lagos State Cooperative Federation (LASCOFED) has put the capital base of cooperative societies in the state at over N100 billion, which it said, had been on steady increase despite the economic recession that crippled governance in almost all the states of the federation.

Special Adviser on Commerce, Industry & Cooperatives, Mr. Benjamin Olabinjo, justified the decision to appoint a consortium of seven insurance firms at a news conference he addressed to mark the 2017 international day of cooperative societies in Alausa, Lagos.

He explained the significance of the day, which he said, had been endorsed by the United Nations and International Cooperative Alliance to increase awareness on cooperatives and promote its success and ideal of international solidarity, economic efficiency and world peace.

Olabinjo, who addressed the conference alongside the President of Lagos State Cooperative Federation, Mr. Oriyomi Aiyeola and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Cooperatives, Mr. Olalekan Akodu, said the decision became imperative to reduce losses.

He explained that the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, specifically initiated the insurance programmed “to mitigate losses that might occur from the operations of the state’s cooperative societies, sudden death and accidents among others.”

Olabinjo, said that it had become a state policy to introduce the insurance programme, which he said, would be handled by a consortium of seven insurance companies.

He listed members of the consortium to include STACO Insurance Plc, Industrial and General Insurance Company Plc, UBA Metropolitan Life Insurance Ltd and Capital Express Assurance Limited.

Other members of the consortium are AIICO Insurance Company Plc, ARM Life Plc and Cornerstone Insurance Plc, with the STACO Insurance Plc as the lead underwriter.

He explained that the insurance programme became imperative to drive awareness among cooperative societies on the need to mitigate losses that might arise from their operations, death and accidents.

He added that the State Executive Council “has approved the Lagos State Cooperative College bill after the federal government directed all states in the federation to establish cooperative college. The bill has been sent to the Lagos State House of Assembly for passage into law.”

The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), he also stated, had been invited to accredit the Lagos State Cooperative College, but recommended that the college must be established by law before it could award National Diploma certificates.

The special adviser, thus, said it was after this recommendation that the State Executive Council approved an executive bill “to give the cooperative college legal backing to enable it award National Diploma certificates in cooperative studies and other related programmes.”
ON his part, LASCOFED’s president, said the total asset of cooperative societies in the state “is now in excess of N100 billion that helps boost the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”