As part of the celebrations for International Cooperative Day, Africa Prudential, a digital solutions provider that specializes in developing one-of-a-kind solutions for cooperative societies, hosted a webinar with the following topic: "Cooperatives Build a Better World: Leveraging Technology to Drive Financial Inclusion and Collective Wealth through Cooperatives."
The webinar was led by Wole Famurewa as the anchor. According to Famurewa, participation in the webinar will help cooperatives move closer to integrating technology into their daily operations.
The Managing Director of Africa Prudential, Obong Idiong, gave a brief welcome address in which he discussed the role of cooperatives in driving growth and the importance of technology in harnessing the potential of cooperatives in this part of the world as it is seen in other countries. He also thanked everyone for attending the event.
Afishetu Braimoh, who is the Commissioner for Industry, Trade, and Cooperative in Edo State, was the keynote speaker for the webinar. He spoke about the significance of cooperatives and how they are an integral part of every society. He also discussed how they fit in well with the plan for Edo state.
She agreed that technology is the primary driver of every economy and that the success of enterprises depends on the participation of the general population and the development of appropriate infrastructure. According to her, the goal of the state of Edo is to make it easier for people to start and run businesses there.
The Commissioner remarked that the worldwide cooperative day presents an excellent chance to develop frameworks for the purpose of bolstering the interaction that exists between cooperatives and the government.
" Cooperative societies are essential to the political and socioeconomic growth of Edo state.
At the moment, the government is collaborating with Africa Prudential on a project to digitize the procedures and activities of cooperative societies.
According to Afishetu, the state of Edo is now working on a database that would classify cooperatives according to the sectors in which they operate and the genders of its members. They have placed a high priority on the need to expand and involve more people, and they are working on legislation that will establish an atmosphere in which cooperatives can flourish.
She concluded her speech by addressing the issue of work that has to be done, stating that there is a significant amount of work to be done, which requires reorientation. The fact that cooperatives bring people together and contribute to the formation of new communities is what makes them the cornerstone of society.
During the panel session, participants included Afishetu Braimoh, Obong Idiong, Isaiah Owolabi, CEO of Efina; SP Giwa, PRO of the Nigerian Police Cooperative Multipurpose Society Limited; David Ogunsola, Chief Technology Officer of Africa Prudential; Charles Ameh, President of the Chevron Employee Multi-purpose cooperative society; Henry Chukwu, Financial Expert; and others.
According to Owolabi, gaining access to the data that is associated with financial services is very vital. He stated that a third of Nigerians use informal financial services, and that the majority of those who participate in cooperative organizations fall within this demographic.
SP Giwa discussed their time working together as a police department. One of the most significant and widespread cooperative organizations in Nigeria is the Nigerian Police Cooperative. He stated that the cooperative had problems in the past with distributing funds to members located in different parts of the country. In addition to this obstacle, there was the problem of collecting data and registering cooperative members.
The cooperative, in collaboration with Africa Prudential, aimed to digitalize and automate the process in order to address these concerns. It is not necessary for a police officer to travel all the way down to Lagos in order to make a withdrawal or a deposit, which makes the cooperative more appealing to a greater number of police personnel.
Henry Chukwu stated that cooperative societies are useful vehicles for achieving financial inclusion. He also stated that cooperatives provide the vast majority of the country's financial services. The cooperative act provides the framework for the regulation of cooperative societies in Nigeria.
The moderator posed the question to the panelists, asking them to suggest ways in which farm cooperatives may more fully realize their potential.
According to Afishetu, there are currently discussions on to expand internet service across the entirety of the state. She went on to say that whenever they do press briefings that concern cooperatives and farmers, they take that material to rural regions and translate it into the people's native languages so that they can better comprehend what is going on. According to the Commissioner, they provide frequent education and reorientation for farmers on the finest methods that are beneficial for their enterprises.
The statements that were made by the Commissioner and the other panelists were supported by Obong Idiong, who noted that it is essential to find local solutions to the issues that we face. He is of the opinion that obtaining sufficient data will assist in the growth of innovations aimed at the resolution of regional issues.
Idiong expressed his delight that discussions concerning cooperatives are currently taking place, and he lauded the efforts being made by Edo state, particularly in the state's rural communities.
David Ogunsola provided an overview of the digital solutions offered by Africa Prudential and how they contribute to the efficient operation of cooperative societies. He stated that Africa Prudential addresses the problems that are facing cooperatives and offers solutions to those problems.
According to Charles Ameh, his objective has always been to make effective use of technology in the cooperative sector and to facilitate the advancement of members of his cooperative by providing them with the appropriate tools. He stated that in order to make decisions that are appropriate for the shifting dynamics of cooperative societies, data must be utilized.
Additionally, he urged members of cooperatives to be actively involved in their own cooperatives and to make sure that their leaders are accountable for their actions.