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How Nigerians can maximise govt programmes, by Osinbajo

By Terhemba Daka, Abuja
26 January 2022   |   3:47 am
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has stated that cooperatives play strategic roles in implementing government’s social investment and intervention programmes, ensuring that a large number of people have access to the them.

[FILES] Osinbajo. Photo/ facebook/professoryemiosinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has stated that cooperatives play strategic roles in implementing government’s social investment and intervention programmes, ensuring that a large number of people have access to the them.

A statement, yesterday, by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, quoted the Vice President as saying so when he received a delegation from the Cooperative Federation of Nigeria (CFN), led by the President, High Chief Tajudeen Oriyomi Ayeola.

According to Osinbajo, cooperatives are “an important part of our strategy in ensuring that the largest number of Nigerians have access to government programmes.”

He continued: “The partnership of cooperatives with government is possibly the only way of doing so in an efficient manner that ensures that government services and programmes get to the right people.

“Cooperatives give their memberships the leverage to be able to take facilities and make sure those facilities are returned. They also have more knowledge of their individual members.”

The Vice President said, “the rationale for cooperatives even in the 50s remains relevant today. When we talk about cooperatives in the Western Region and how these were very helpful, and even cooperatives across the country became important pillars in the economic development of the country.”

Citing an instance where cooperatives have come handy, Osinbajo noted: “We thought that cooperatives would be very useful in all the programmes around the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP). One of them is the Family Homes Funds (FHF) and our plans to build 300,000 social housing units.”

He added that, “the case for cooperatives is very well made, and what we must do as a government, is look for ways of cooperating with the cooperative associations in ensuring that we are able to get this moving.”

In his remarks, Managing Director of FHF, the implementing organ of the social housing element of the ESP, Femi Adewole, gave an update on the work done so far regarding the National Social Housing Programme.

He said: “As at the end of 2021, 17,281 homes were at various stages of construction across – some completed, while others are in progress – across 15 states.”

While awaiting disbursements from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the FHF MD added that the agency was able to mobilise other resources such as N10 billion from the Ministry of Finance, $60 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB), 20 million Euros from Agence Française De Dévelopment and about N20 billion recycled capital from sales of completed property to execute the social housing project for last year.

For 2022, FHF expects to build 20,640 units, using its own resources, but CBN disbursements would avail the agency further latitude to complete more projects.

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