President Goodluck Jonathan has promised to establish the Nigeria’s first University of Cooperatives. He said that as a precursor to the establishment of the university, he will send a Federal Government delegation to Nairobi, Kenya to understudy the University of Cooperative there.
President Jonathan who played host to members of the Odua Cooperative Alliance (OCA) from the 6 southwestern states in the State House, Marina, Lagos today, was responding to the requests by leader of the delegation, Asiwaju Adetokunbo Osisanya that the Federal Government should take a cue from Kenya which already has that institution.
President Jonathan confessed that he was hearing about the existence of such an institution in the East African country for the first time, promised to take action on it immediately and situate the university in the southwest.
The President Jonathan said that he always believed that Nigeria needs specialized universities, and that such belief had given rise to the establishment of a Maritime University in Delta state.
“On the issue you raised about a University of Cooperative. I will send a team to Kenya to go and look at the University there. They need to look at the courses they offer, the departments and how the entire institution is structured. Then we will establish our own and it will be located in the southwest.”
On the request for the institution of 200 billion naira national cooperative development fund as provided in the national cooperative policy of year 2002, the President promised to get the Central Bank of Nigeria to consider the inclusion of that in its operations.
While promising to look at many other requests made by the group if Nigerians return him to office on March 28th, on the demand for the review of cooperative laws, the President told the group to form a team within itself and recommend specific laws to the Federal Government.
President Jonathan promised to sit with them, look at their recommendations and send a draft bill to the National Assembly for deliberations.
The President who thanked the leader of the delegation for his brilliant presentation, acknowledged that he had become more enlightened about how the cooperative movement can contribute to the advancement of his Transformation Agenda.
“After listening to your well written address which was also articulately presented, I now appreciate better the role cooperative movements can play in our transformation agenda. We will cooperate with you and include your ideas as parts of efforts to move this country forward.”
Other requests made by the group include grant/ intervention for the take-off of the national cooperative transportation scheme; reduction in the collateral to access the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund; favorable policy framework on the federal mortgage for housing to enable conventional cooperatives to benefit; special funding for cooperative movement; creation of full fledged ministry of cooperative and rural development.
The group leader promised to mobilize over two million votes for the President’s re-election bid out of its 6 million membership strength. [myad]