A passionate appeal has gone to Niger state Governor Hon. Umaru Mohammed Bago to pay adequate attention to cooperative sector to ensure the development of the state.
The president of Niger State Cooperative Federation (NISCOFED) Comrade Labaran Garba, made the plea at a stakeholders meeting of various cooperative unions held at the Conference Hall of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) Secretariat Minna, on Wednesday.
Comrade Garba said that the appeal became necessary and imperative as he described cooperative as a veritable tool that complement government efforts in poverty reduction, driving sustainable programmes of government which is recognised by the United Nations as resilient business model.
The president of state cooperative federation disclosed further that the need for government to give adequate attention to cooperative sector was equally necessary as cooperatives contributes towards achieving sustainable development in any given society, adding that formation of various cooperative societies was to support the people and the communities for them to achieve their goals and objectives.
Comrade Garba said that cooperatives have contributed to the growth and development of Niger state economy over the years by providing members in micro, small and medium enterprise with loans at affordable interest rates to develop their business investments, thereby creating more jobs and wealth.
According to him, many cooperatives across the state was involved in agriculture and manufacturing of agro allied products, while many cooperators in Niger state as well as various cooperatives have huge investments in land, education, housing and health facilities worth millions of naira and urged the cooperators to continue to show more commitment to the ideals of cooperative prinicples and values, and drive to promote the growth of cooperative movement in all sectors of the economy.
The president who spoke on the essence of the stakeholders meeting, however said that it was aimed at assembling the stakeholders to brainstorm so as to strengthen the cooperatives, discussed on how to address the challenges and chat a way forward, adding that it was also aimed at marking the 101st day celebration set aside by International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and United Nations by every first Saturday of July every year with the aim at increasing awareness on the actitivies of cooperative movement, by highlighting the credible impacts of cooperatives socities.
Speaking at the occasion, the Director Cooperative, Ministry of Investment, Commerce and Cooperatives, Musa Mohammed Erena, appreciated the organisers of the programme and called for robust synergy between the management of various cooperatives in the state and the ministry for them to succeed.
The stakeholders meeting was attended by chairmen, secretaries of various cooperatives across the state.
The Theme for this year's International Cooperative Day according was "Cooperatives for sustainable Development."
As the hike in the fuel pump price was causing hardship to Nigerlites, the Niger State House of Assembly adopted a motion calling on Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago to reduce the working days of civil servants in the state.
The plenary session got heated when Hon. Umar Nasiru, representing Paikoro Constituency, moved the motion on matters of urgent public importance, calling on the Executive Governor of Niger State to reduce the number of working days and reduce the hardship suffered by the civil servants.
Hon. Nasiru said that the excessive hardship being experienced as a result of the removal of fuel subsidies has necessitated his call on the governor to reduce working days for civil servants so that they use other days to work at home for their offices.
According to him, "Section 17 subsection 2(c) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provided that government actions shall be humane, and to this end, I call on the Executive Arm to reduce the number of working days in Niger State from five to three days", he said.
He said that by so doing, it will reduce hardship not only suffered by civil servants but by entire states.
The legislator said that other states, such as Edo and Kwara, have already reduced their working days and that Niger State can also do likewise.
He said that Governor Umaru Bago is a generous and grassroots leader, and he believes that he would listen to their plea and grant it.
The legislators added that the N30, 000 minimum wage can no longer sustain civil servants, and as such, they added that the state government should put up measures to cushion the hardship of workers before the arrival of Federal Government palliatives.
Additional prayers made by the house were for the government to provide public transport for citizens at a subsidised rate, among others.
Also, a motion moved by the same Hon. Nasiru directed the Ministry of Education and the Niger State Universal Basic Education Board to immediately take measures that will avert the imminent collapse of the poorly constructed one-story building of UK Bello Memorial Primary School, Paiko, was adopted.
Two motions were stepped down: a motion calling on the executive arm of government to assess and make inquiries on the slow pace of ongoing construction of the General Hospital Tunga Magajiya and a motion calling on the executive arm of government to urgently intervene in the public primary and post-primary sectors of education in the state until committees were formed.