Laleye Dipo in Minna
The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) has disclosed that not less than 415million poor Africans live on less than $ 2 daily.
The Regional Director ICA in Africa, Dr. Shiyoge Sifa, who made this known in Minna, Niger State, while delivering a lecture at the fifth Congress and National workshop of the Cooperative Federation of Nigeria, said those who lived on between $2 to 4 daily were the middle class who constituted about 40 percent of the population of Africa.
Sifa whose lecture was titled â€˜Inclusion: Cooperatives ensure no one is left behindâ€™, said the ICA had launched a programme that would reduce poverty on the continent.
“We have launched the 2017 to 2020 strategy to try and fast-track the 40 percent which we never achieved,” she said.
Sifa said there were many factors that would work for the reduction of poverty on the continent, adding that “the co-operatives are only part of the solution but unfortunately it’s not fully embraced by all the 54 nations on the continent.”
Speaking further she said: “The cooperative movement remains the highest employer across the world after it created over 250 million job opportunities in 2016.”
Sifa urged government at all levels to make job creation and empowerment their priorities, stressing that unemployment was a major cause of social problems on the continent.
One of the zonal leaders of the CFN, and a presidential aspirant, Tajudeen Ayeola, blamed the emergence of mushroom cooperatives on some greedy government officials who used such societies to siphon government grants meant for investments.
“Mushroom cooperative societies are created by government officials especially on the papers basically to siphon or benefit from government grants,” Ayeola declared.
He however stated that such anomalies would soon be addressed because the CFN “will lobby the National Assembly to ensure cooperative law is reviewed.”