The Cooperative Rating and Award Society of Nigeria (CRASON) has appealed to the National Assembly to review the Nigerian Cooperative Act of 2004 to meet international best practices.
The President of CRASON, Mr Victor Oyegoke, made the appeal at the 2nd National Cooperative Awards and Symposium organised by the society in Abuja on Saturday.
Oyegoke noted that the law was outdated and was no longer in tandem with current realities in the sector.
He also appealed to the Federal Government to support cooperatives, adding that they were contributing enormously to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
According to him, cooperative is contributing over one trillion Naira to the GDP; they also create more than 600,000 employments both directly and indirectly in the country.
“This is a very vital sector that the government needs to see how they can key into; we have over 30 million individual members and over 300,000 cooperatives.
“Our law is outdated, we need to review it to accommodate the realities on ground and the government can help us.
“There is a law reviewed already that has been sent to the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
“FEC should help us send to the National Assembly for scrutiny and passage.
“There is need for a platform to call stakeholders to review the Act to meet up with the current realities of global best practices,’’ he said.
Mr Akintola Akintoye, the Chairman CRASON Advisory Board, said the objective of the society was to rate the operations of cooperative societies and proffer awards.
Akintoye noted that the move was targeted towards encouraging deserving cooperatives.
“Cooperative in Nigeria is a bit down because the sector is not 24th century compliant.
“To be 24th century compliant, the knowledge base of practitioners need to be upgraded.
“We need massive injection of funds for capacity training,’’ he said.
Mrs Shimite Bello, the Chief Executive Officer of the Quintessential Women Association, said that adequate information and technology was crucial to boost the operations of cooperatives in the country.
Bello, in a lecture entitled, `Strengthening Cooperatives to serve as Catalyst for Nigeria’s Sustainable Socio-Economic Development’, called for more training for cooperative members to ensure proper management of loans.
Reports state that no fewer than 40 different cooperatives and individuals would bag the 2019 CRASON’s award for their outstanding operations.