Edo warns operators of cooperative societies against investment in ponzi scheme

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The Edo State Ministry of Business, Trade, and Cooperative recently organized a 2-day workshop in Benin City, themed “Consolidating the gains of cooperative societies in Edo State.” The workshop was conducted in collaboration with the Edo Cooperative Federation, with support from LAPO Microfinance Bank.
The main objective of the workshop was to sensitize cooperative stakeholders about the need to follow the statutory provisions guiding cooperative operations in the state. The workshop also aimed to create a platform for knowledge exchange and robust synergy.

Enoma Efeoma, the Director of Cooperatives in the Ministry, revealed in a WhatsApp chat with Uptown Press that she delivered a lecture titled “Cooperatives Legal Framework Bye-Laws An Effective Tools,” during which she cautioned leaders of cooperative societies to refrain from investing cooperative funds in Ponzi schemes. She emphasized that the ministry gives a guide (By-laws) upon registration of a cooperative, expecting that after a while, such by-laws are amended to suit specific needs of the cooperative society.

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Efeomo clarified that the Ministry of Business Trade and Cooperatives only regulates the activities of registered cooperatives and does not make decisions regarding the distribution of loans. She further added that the daily operations of cooperatives are the responsibility of their members and leadership. Efeomo also stressed that cooperatives not registered with the Ministry of Business Trade and Cooperative are operating illegally in Edo state. She pointed out that Cap 45 of 1976 applicable to Edo state makes registration of cooperatives mandatory, and the bylaws are tailored to suit the unique needs of the various cooperatives.

Honorable Patrick Iria Uanseru, the Commissioner in the Edo State Ministry of Business Trade and Cooperatives(MBTC), charged stakeholders and trustees of cooperative societies in Edo South Senatorial District about the importance of cooperative society as a business model, describing it as a “serious business.” The commissioner was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs. Bose Igbinobaro, who gave the welcome address during the 2-day workshop.

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Mr. Falani Ojo, the President of the Edo Cooperative Federation, urged cooperative operators to give executives the responsibility to do justice without bias, especially in loan administration. He emphasized that everyone must be given a sense of belonging.

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