Osinbajo: Cooperatives Play Strategic Roles in Implementing FG’s Intervention Programmes

Deji Elumoye

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has declared that cooperatives play strategic roles in implementing government’s social investment and interventions programmes aimed at ensuring that a large number of people have access to the programmes.

Osinbajo, who spoke Tuesday when he received a delegation from the Cooperative Federation of Nigeria (CFN) led by its President, Chief Tajudeen Oriyomi Ayeola, at the State House, Abuja, stressed that cooperatives are an important part of government strategy in ensuring that the largest number of Nigerians have access to government programmes.

According to him, “The partnership of cooperatives with government is possibly the only way of doing so in an efficient manner that ensures that government services and programmes get to the right people.

“Cooperatives give their memberships the leverage to be able to take facilities and make sure those facilities are returned. They also have more knowledge of their individual members.”

The vice-president added that: “The rationale for cooperatives even in the 50s remains relevant today. When we talk about cooperatives in the Western Region and how these were very helpful and even cooperatives across the country became important pillars in the economic development of the country.”

Giving an instance where cooperatives have come in useful, Osinbajo noted that government thought that cooperatives would be very useful in all the programmes around the Economic Sustainability Plan.

“One of them is the Family Homes Funds with plan to build 300,000 social housing units,” he said.

He observed that: “The case for cooperatives is very well made, and what we must do as a government is look for ways of cooperating with the Cooperative Associations in ensuring that we are able to get this moving.”

Earlier in his remarks, the Managing Director of Family Homes Fund (FHF), which is implementing the Social Housing element of the ESP, Femi Adewole, gave an update on the work done so far concerning the National Social Housing Programme.

He said: “As at year-end 2021, 17,281 homes are at various stages of construction, either completed or in progress across 15 states.”

While awaiting disbursements from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the FHF MD disclosed that the agency was able to mobilize other resources such as N10 billion from the Ministry of Finance, $60 million from the African Development Bank, €20 million from Agence Française De Développement, and about N20 billion recycled capital from sales of completed property to execute the Social Housing programme for last year.

For 2022, FHF expects to do 20,640 units using its own resources, but CBN disbursements would avail the opportunity to do even much more than that, he said.

The MD said in order for the Social Housing scheme to reach a wider target audience outside of those in formal employment, particularly the large population of citizens in the informal sector, FHF entered into a partnership with CFN in May last year and the objective was to leverage their reach to mobilize demands in groups from people in the informal sector.

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