… As State Moves To Elevate Cooperative College To Run National Diploma Courses
By Benjamin Omoike
The number of Cooperative Societies revalidated by the Lagos State Government through its Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives has hit 2,359 within two years of the present Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led Administration.
Report gathered also revealed that the value of the Cooperative Capital base in the State has increased from N32 billion in 2019 to N33 billion till date.
It was gathered that the Ministry under the Department of Cooperative Services inaugurated 147 cooperative societies; effected 247 new registrations; approved 807 annual account; held 272 Annual General Meetings; 410 meditations, while 1,693 routine inspections were carried out in the last one year.
Speaking on Monday during the ongoing Ministerial Briefing at Ikeja, the State Capital, to commemorate two years of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led Administration in office, the State’s Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dr (Mrs.) Lola Akande, disclosed that the State is championing the course of elevating the Lagos State Cooperative College to get accreditation from the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to run National Diploma in the field of Cooperative Economics and Management as well as Microfinance and Entrepreneurship Development from 2021/2022 academic session.
The Commissioner mentioned that in response to the Nigerian Agribusiness and Agro-Industries Development Initiative (NAADI), the Ministry created a new unit called Agric Desk to increase agribusiness development, nutrition and add value to agriculture produces in the State.
It was gathered that within the period under review, the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) recovered over N44 million as compensation and outright refund of payment for returned substandard goods and services for various categories of consumers in the State.
It was gathered that a total number of 1,018 complaints were received by the Agency through its mediation session.
Commerce centred activities organised by the Ministry within the period under review include holding of the 5th Edition of the Lagos State MSMEs Exclusive Trade Fair to support operators in the State in finding way out of growth and development challenges of the sector and the organising of the Institutional Business Support for MSME during the Trade Fair and Exhibition.
Also were the 6th Lagos Corporate Assembly tagged ‘BOS’ Meets Business hosted by the Governor as a Public Private engagement between the business community and the State Government for feedbacks from the organised private sector (OPS); and the establishment of the Eko MSME Fashion Hub 1 to boost fashion and apparel industry in the State.
Committees constituted to boost commerce activities in the State during the period under review include, resettlement committee, the establishment of the Lagos State Export Promotion Committee to promote the marketability of locally made products (non-oil) in Lagos; sub-committees for the One-State-One Product (OSOP); Sub Committtes on marketing logistics among stakeholders; access to finance through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to boost their products; planning objectives among stakeholders; and a Committee on short term and long term plans.
Other efforts of the Ministry were sensitisation over the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTAA) with opportunities to bring 30 million people out of poverty and raise income of 68 million others living less than $5.50 per day; issuance of auctioneer’s license; establishment of SMEs Hub and E-Commerce platform to assist MSMEs in response to new global commerce reality.
Also on the list were efforts directed towards the Lekki Deep Sea Port Enterprise which is at 47 per cent completion stage as at February 2021. It is expected that the Trial Operations of the Lekki Port will take off by the third quarter (Q3) of 2022, while commercial operations are projected for Q1, 2023.
Among other ventures in collaboration with the private sectors include the Alaro City joint venture sited on 1000-hectares of land for industrial developments, warehousing, logistics locations, among other commercial purposes, with a 40 per cent shares by the Lagos State Government.
Other activities include enumeration and compensation exercise; participation in the international trade fair and exhibition, Africa Industrialisation Day/Young African Industrialists Week (AID); development and renovation of small scale industrial estate; inspectorate and monitoring of industries.
Others are the Imota Light Industrial Park which is at 86 per cent completion to provide built-up factory units for small scale industrialists particularly for those in the food value chain.