Adeleke Disburses N700m to Local Cooperative Societies

Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo

In his drive to boost local economy and alleviate hardship among the citizens, Ondo State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, yesterday disbursed cash-back cheques of millions of naira to cooperatives societies in Ife and Obokun/Oriade federal constituencies.

Addressing a crowd of cooperative members at Ile Ife City Hall and Ijebujesa town hall, Governor Adeleke said the funds being disbursed to the local cooperatives are designed to support grassroots businesses and ensure financial inclusion for the vulnerable segments in society.

The disbursement which came as the state government announced the commencement of distribution of federal and state rice to reach every segment of society, drew applause from members of the cooperative movements in both federal constituencies.

While the state Commissioner for Cooperatives and Empowerment, Bayo Ogungbangbe, said that was the first time cooperative movement would be supported, Governor Adeleke disclosed that the Federation of Osun State Cooperatives and the 332 ward-based cooperatives are beneficiaries of the disbursement.

The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaaja II, applauded the initiative, describing it as “a strong way to reach the grassroots of small businesses.”

According to the royal father, the cooperative approach will boost the local economy and provide much needed funds for the small business operators to thrive and survive.

Addressing beneficiaries at Ile Ife and Ijebujesa, Adeleke said: “We are here in pursuance of financial inclusion for artisans and local businesses. Our administration is determined to financially empower our grassroots traders, as the cooperative platform provides the best path to achieving our agenda on financial inclusion.

“You would all recall that the first Osun State Cooperative Summit was held in January 2024. Part of the fall out of the summit was our government’s declaration that N1 billion would be released to the cooperative sector. My government is implementing that decision as can be attested to by stakeholders.

“The cooperative sector in the state comprises the Federation of Osun State Cooperative Limited (FOSCOOP) and the newly established Ward-Based Cooperative Societies. In effect, there are now a minimum of about 332 ward-based cooperative societies in Osun State, all of which have received about N1million each.

“To date, the amount of loans released to the FOSCOOP  is about  N700.000,000. The loan disbursement is being handled in batches.

“Our government had earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federation of Osun State Cooperative Limited. The MOU provides a strong framework for the sustainability of the loan scheme. We reaffirm our resolve to complete the loan disbursement and even expand the coverage in the near future.

 “Our government will be following up. We promise to reward beneficiaries who grow their businesses from this exercise. We will not relent in our support to grow the local economy through financial inclusion.”

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