The Lagos State Government has expressed determination to sustain the State’s resilience through the formulation of people-oriented strategies and policies that are need-based and development focused.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who made this known at the maiden convocation of Professional Diploma Programme of the Lagos State Cooperative College, LASCOCO, at Oko-Oba, Agege explained that his administration remains relentless in the effort to convert emerging threats to opportunities, leveraging on digitalization technologies to deliver learning and educational outcomes.
Represented by the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs Lola Akande, the Governor gave assurance that his administration would continue to provide the much-needed support required by the College to function optimally in the turning out of the much needed professionals in the sub-sector and in the creation of the platform and opportunities for Nigerians to pursue and develop career in Cooperative Business Enterprises.
“‘We have thus established this College out of the need to complement efforts towards the creation of an economy that is knowledge driven and skill-based in appreciation of the key role of cooperatives in enterprise development, job creation and generation of massive economic opportunities for the teeming
population of the State. It is therefore expected that the Lagos State Cooperative College would help to enhance performance of book keepers and trustees of cooperative societies through the Provision of need based training while also helping to meet specific manpower needs of the State through the provision of high-level manpower with capacity for self-employment and job creation. As such, | want to seize this opportunity to enjoin the leadership and entire membership of the Cooperative movement in the State to ensure an increased patronage of the training programmes of the Lagos – state Cooperative College to develop the. capacity of Operators in the sub-sector” the Governor said
The Chairman of the College’s Governing Council, Mr Oyewale Raji noted that in Lagos State, the number of registered Cooperative Societies had grown from one hundred and eight (108) in 1967 to well over fifteen thousand (15,000) with a net asset of N70, 731,066,384.90k (Seventy billion, seven hundred and thirty-one million, sixty-six thousand, three hundred and eighty-four naira and ninety kobo) according to the mid-year report of the Cooperative Department for year 2016.
He described such a huge number of cooperators managing a stupendous amount of funds of about N80 billion in today’s worth as an essential part of the current administration’s THEMES agenda and a gold mine waiting to be explored and exploited for the betterment of Lagosians.
“The economic reverberations and trickle-dow effects of activities of this subsector can only be imagined in terms of improving the economic emancipation of the greater number of our rural dwellers and thus unable to provide assets to collateralize loans from conventional banks and financial institutions” he said
Reeling out the achievements of the College, the Provost, Mr Akorede Ojomu
appealed to Governor Sanwo-Olu to, in his usual manner, help them to overcome some of the challenges facing them, including the procurement of a permanent site to meet NBTE’s requirement of not less than 10 hectares of land and to enable LASCOCO to realize its vision as a global model cooperative institution.
“There are a lot of facilities that are still lacking in the College for which we have presently improvised but which are still required in the long run for the enrichment and standardization of our academic activities. We need demonstration farms, a well — equipped Entrepreneurship Centre for vocational and entrepreneurial training, a pseudo micro finance outfit for students of Microfinance and Enterprise Development to mention but a few” Ojomu appealed
Honourary awards of Fellowship of the College were conferred on a former Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye and three former Permanent Secretaries, Misters Wale Raji, Olajide Bashorun and Olalekan Akodu, for their immense contributions to the development of the college.
While Mr Olajide Bashorun expressed appreciation to the college for the honour bestowed on them, Mrs Oladunjoye announced that she would be meeting one of the College’s need by adopting the library, in memory of her late husband, who she said was a pillar of support during her years of active service in the employ of the Lagos State government.
One hundred and four students bagged Professional Diplomas in Cooperative studies during the convocation ceremony.
Five of the graduating students who distinguished themselves in the course of the professional Diploma programme were given prizes, with Mrs Veronica Akingbade carting home the overall best student prize, while the special student award was given to Ogunjinrin Oluwakemi, a person living with disability for her tenacity and resilience during the programme