The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Mohammad Nanono, has said Nigerian cooperatives are actively involved in the value chain of agricultural development in the country.
Nanono, who is also the supervising minister of the Cooperative Sector in Nigeria, made this known in a statement he personally signed to felicitate with Nigerian cooperatives on the 99th International Cooperative Day with the theme – ‘Rebuilding better together’ which also is the 27th UN International Day of Cooperatives.
“Since the introduction of the cooperative model of development to Nigeria in 1927 by the colonial administration, cooperative has gained wide acceptability. It catalyzed agricultural development, especially in the period between 1950 and early 1980s, where it contributed to increasing domestic agricultural production and scaling up export of agricultural produce. The revenue generated from export facilitated the provision of infrastructure and social development services.
“Currently, Nigerian cooperatives are actively involved in agricultural input sourcing and supply, agricultural produce marketing, micro insurance service, financial on-lending, road transportation, artisanal mining, value addition, rendering of strategic services and commerce,” it said.
The statement said Nigerian cooperatives had contributed significantly to the economic development of the country knowing full well the immense contribution of the World Cooperative Movement to the socio-economic development of the world, adding it is a general knowledge that while Nigeria was grappling with the multiple challenges of unemployment, food production, inflation, poverty and unending insecurity, COVID-19 pandemic came to inflict its debilitating blow on the socio-economic lives of Nigerians and the other citizens of the world.
According to it, the pandemic, still raging, is gradually being subdued and the task of restoring, recovering and rebuilding the socio-economic fabric of the people has to be achieved albeit through national and international cooperation and collaboration of stakeholders including cooperatives.
“It is the important realization that cooperatives, with their unique identity of people-centred principles and concern for the community that the theme of this year’s International Day of Cooperative celebration ‘Rebuilding Better Together’ is very apt.
“I wish to implore the Nigerian and world cooperative movements to assiduously “work the talk” by cooperating among themselves and with other organizations and people to develop and implement strategies and projects that will lead to the rebuilding of the economies and social systems of citizens damaged by the pandemic and other devastating factors,” it added.
The statement said the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development through the Federal Department of Cooperatives would cooperate, collaborate and support cooperative movements and similar international organizations in achieving their set development objectives of advancing people’s livelihood and restoring their normal ways of lives.