The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has urged entrepreneurs operating Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state, to approach the state’s Ministry of Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment for support and guidance on how to enhance their activities by setting up and working as cooperatives.
Obaseki, who said this on the occasion of the International Day of Cooperatives, celebrated each year on July 7, stressed that the MSMEs stand a better chance to access finance, grow and contribute to the economy, when they belong to or work as cooperatives.
According to Obaseki, “The Ministry of Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment was created to provide MSMEs with the necessary support to improve their efficiency, and contribute to the state’s growing economy.
“It is incontrovertible that MSMEs are the bedrock of developing economies as they take more risks, employ more people and are more widespread than other types of businesses. So, it is in our best interest to provide them with necessary support to thrive.”
The support structures, the governor noted, “will assist entrepreneurs formalise cooperatives to enable them compete favourably for credit and other instruments to aid business growth. The Ministry has a template that will provide entrepreneurs with guidelines for registering and formalising their ventures.”
Obaseki said that the 2018 theme for the International Day of Cooperatives, which is “Sustainable Societies through Cooperation”, aligns with the state’s vision for wealth creation.
He added that, “Our vision, as a government, is to empower our people to take charge of the march for sustainable development. We will do this by providing necessary structures to promote trade, employment and empowerment to reduce inequalities, improve livelihoods and create wealth.”
The International Day of Cooperatives is celebrated by the United Nations, to raise awareness that increasing income inequality can be reduced through co-operative model as it contains aspects of sustainable development at its core and is based on ethical values and principles.
According to the United Nations, “Cooperatives by their very nature, play a triple role: As economic actors they create opportunities for jobs, livelihoods and income generation; As people-centered enterprises with social goals they contribute to social equity and justice; and as democratic institutions, they are controlled by their members, playing a leading role in society and local communities.”