Investment in properties by different sectors of the economy can help boost and engender the socioeconomic development of any nation, help create employment and ultimately close the existing poverty gap in the society.
This was the view of the Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, during the inauguration of the new multi-purpose building built by the Lagos State Cooperative Federation (LASCOFED) in Ogba area of the state, recently.
Mr Ambode also noted that the multi-million naira edifice would boost socio-economic development of the cooperative activities in Lagos State.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Finance, Dr Mustapha Akinkunmi, said, the building would, among other things, serve as the pivot for the re-invigoration of cooperative societies in the state, which he said had the potential of financially strengthening more people to the point that they can become house owners without having to unnecessarily depend on the government.
“The cooperative new structure would serve as a hub leading to socio-economic development of the cooperative movement and Lagos State at large,” he said.
“The building’s inauguration was specifically done to boost co-operators’ capacity in terms of delivery and to showcase government interest in cooperative movement for mutual growth and development.
“This is why this present administration saw the need to merge the Ministry of Commerce and Industry with Cooperative to showcase the partnership and contributions of co-operatives to the people of Lagos State, hence, this would enable cooperative societies take optimal advantage of resources within the ministry and focus more on a robust economic development of members especially through the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Funds which this administration had put in place to encourage bottom-top participation in the economy,” he added.
He commended the LASCOFED leadership, with Mr Oriyomi Ayeola as the president, for its foresight, transparency and dynamism, saying, “The conception and swift successful completion of the edifice before its allotted timing of 12 years through the cooperative personal funding is a testimonial reference of a focus and quality leadership style, managerial skills and prudence in the part of the apex body.”
He assured cooperative members that his administration would continue to embark on relevant policies and laws to facilitate LASCOFED continuous contribution to the economy of Lagos State.
On his part, Ayeola described the building as comprising of four floors, with each floor meant to serve different purposes including a consumer shop with supporting offices, as well as halls for events and a pent house for rent.
He stated that the building was completed at a total sum of N296,624,820, and attributed the success to the spirit of cooperation among members.
“I’m greatly indebted to Lagos co-operators who rallied round to make this dream come true. I appreciate cooperative societies who remitted the N200 development levy per member which collection amounted to N12,355,800 and the 9 selected cooperative societies who loaned us various sums to complete the project,” he said.