Efforts by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration to transform individual business ventures and scale them up to become part of the emerging private sector-led Edo economy through formalisation of their processes and coming together as cooperative societies have begun yielding result.

At a Tax Summit held by the Ministry of Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment in conjunction with Edo State Cooperative Federation (ECF) and the Edo State Internal Revenue Service (EIRS) held in Benin City, the state government restated her commitment to mainstreaming small and medium scale enterprises in the economy of the state.

Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment, Mr. Emmanuel Usoh, explained that the summit was conceived to build capacity of cooperative societies and empower them to play a major role in the growth plan for the state’s economy.

“We see cooperatives in the state as partners in progress and we are working together to build and develop the local economy of the state.

“We need to work together to build data, access funding and understand that cooperative societies are a veritable tool for growing the economy. Usoh told the summit participants that the state government is open to engagement on taxation matters such as tax laws, amongst others.

Secretary to the Board of Edo State Internal Revenue Service (EIRS), Efe Edamwen Iserhienrhien, said the tax summit would educate the participants on the need to comply with the relevant tax laws in the state.

“Our aim is to make every citizen of the state to be tax compliant. We have engaged cooperative societies,tomorrow it will be farmers and the next professionals may be teachers. We will continue with the engagement until all the stakeholders know the importance of tax and comply with the laws,” he added.

A representative of Bendel Newspaper Multi-purpose cooperative society, Mr Matthew Okagha, commended the organisers of the summit for bringing cooperative societies together and described cooperatives as a critical sector to economic growth.

Another participant, Mrs. Ike Charity, who represented NIFOR Multi-purpose Cooperative Society, said the training gave members of her group insights into how to build a strong cooperative society.