Speech of the LASCOFED President, Mr. Oriyomi Ayeola at the Commissioning of LASCOFED Office Complex

htp_5290On behalf of all Co-operators, Co-operative Societies and the entire Co-operative movement of Lagos State, I warmly welcome his Excellency, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, to Lagos State Co-operative Federation on this occasion of commissioning and dedication of LASCOFED Office Complex and Multipurpose Hall. Sir, We feel highly honored by your presence in our midst and we appreciate you most sincerely for reserving today for the Co-operative Movement of Lagos State.

The Governor is here with members of the State Executive Council – this is actually moving the whole of Lagos into our compound.  Once again, we appreciate you sir and warmly welcome all members of the state EXCO in our midst.

I equally welcome and congratulate the leadership of Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, and all other government functionaries here present. We thank you for your collaborations and for making today a reality.

I am happy to welcome back home past Presidents of Lagos State Co-operative Federation and members of the Elders Forum. Past and present members of President-In-Council, past and present members of the board of LASCOFED and the entire members of Co-operative Movement of Lagos State, I congratulate and warmly welcome you all.

I welcome to Lagos, the President of Co-operative Federation of Nigeria, the Vice president and the Executive Secretary, Presidents and Executive Secretaries of sister Cooperative Federations and the Federal Director of Cooperatives.

I congratulate his Excellency, the Governor for His one year in office and the laudable work he has been doing since he assumed office.  I want to note with pleasure that your wonderful work have started impacting positively on Cooperative development in Lagos State and I pray, you complete your mission in Lagos State in happiness and great fulfillment of mind.

Today, my heart overflows with profound gratitude to God Almighty who turns our dream into reality and made it possible for us to be here on this historic gathering.

Your Excellency sir, Cooperative as you know, is a self-help organization with good people mutually relating together for their socio-economic wellbeing and for the good of their communities. We cooperate mainly to provide jobs, housing, food and security for our members and our neighbors.  We believe strongly that government cannot do it alone, therefore, from our personal incomes; we create wealth and investment for the good of the society.

In Lagos State, we contribute well in excess of ONE HUNDRED BILLION NAIRA into the economy but we can still do far better sir.

Cooperatives flourish and develop better only with adequate recognition and attention by the government, the history of cooperative countries world over and that of old Western Region attest to this sir.

Sir, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, of blessed memory injected a huge sum of $1 into cooperative movement of old Western region in 1953 and this placed the regional cooperative movement above all other regions in Nigeria till today.

The defunct Cooperative Bank was established from this fund.  Till today, the impact of that fund is still very much with us.

I am aware you have a lot for the Cooperative Movement of Lagos State, you have even done a lot which we have seen but in addition sir, on the command of the entire over a million members, I have before your honor, this following request for your consideration for the betterment of Lagos State and by extension that of Nigeria.

(1)    A grant of N1bn for 2 years in the first instance, for on-lending to our active and committed members.

(2)    The creation of a whole Ministry for cooperative in Lagos State with all the units in the present Directorate of Cooperative as departments.

The two requests will not only make your administration to be popular and assist
your determination of lives for residents of Lagos, but put Lagos ahead of other
states in Nigeria on Cooperative development, and of course, secured for you a
convenient and better place in the history of Cooperative  Development of Nigeria.

Lagos state has always being setting the pace for excellence and this will definitely add more value to the status of Lagos through your honor sir.

Your Excellency, Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here for what people refer to as commissioning and dedication of a building but I see it, as a celebration of a fulfilled dream.  Sir, this building is a tangible and concrete manifestation of a bold idea, continuity in governance and cooperation per excellence with prudency.

The idea to have a befitting Secretariat for the Cooperative Movement in Lagos State
was conceived by the immediate past administration led by Alhaji Saheed Olanrewaju Oki. The foundation was laid on the 15th July, 2010 by the then Honorable Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Chief Enock Kolapomoye Ajiboso.  At inception, the construction was projected to last for at least
12 years at an estimated cost of Two Hundred and Seventy Eight Million, One Hundred and Seventy-Two Thousand, Nine Hundred and Twenty Naira (N278,172,920).

When coming to office in 2012 and while requesting for the votes of our people, I made a promise that given the opportunity and privilege to lead, we shall have the building completed within the four-year tenure of the Board.

I led a team that is not only committed but fantastically understanding and loyal. They all shared in the dream and I am profoundly grateful to the members of the President-in-Council and the Board of LASCOFED; and the Project and Finance Committee led by Alhaji Kola Sanusi, thank you very much. The God Almighty will reward you all abundantly.

Sir, the building is of Four floors. On the ground floor is located a Multipurpose Hall and a consumer shop with supporting offices. On the 1st first floor, we have 3 Halls of various sizes which can be used by individuals and organizations for seminars, Annual General Meetings, etc and offices of different sizes. The Multipurpose Hall, other halls and offices on both the ground floor and the 1st floor are meant to boost the internally generated revenue of LASCOFED, as they are basically for rentals.

The 2nd floor is reserved to house the Secretariat of the Cooperative Movement of Lagos State while the Pent house consists of four apartments with eight rooms and four sitting rooms. The apartments are also for rentals.

Your Excellency, the Governor of Lagos State, Honorable Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperative Services, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Commerce, the Permanent Secretary, the Director of Cooperative Services and all other members of the management team of our coordinating Ministry, leaders and elders of the Cooperative Movement of Lagos State, my colleagues-the Lagos Cooperators. Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the outgoing Board and staff of LASCOFED, and with a satisfied mind, I present as promised, the completed LASCOFED Office Complex and Multipurpose Hall, to the glory of God and the use of Lagos State at a total sum of Two Hundred and Ninety Six Million, Six Hundred and Twenty Four Thousand, Eight Hundred and Twenty Naira (N296,624,820).

My mind is full of appreciations to God Almighty who made everything possible and to persons who contributed in various ways to this success story. I appreciate the leadership of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, the Honorable Commissioner, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Commerce, Honorable Benjamin Olabinjo and the Permanent Secretary, Mr Olalekan Akodu. I equally appreciate all past Commissioners in the then Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives namely Chief Enock Ajiboso and Prince Gbolahan Lawal. Honorable Babatunde Jimoh Adewale, the Chairman of the Committee in charge of Cooperatives in the Lagos State House of Assembly when the foundation for the building was laid; and Honorable Ibrahim Layode, the current Chairman, all past Permanent Secretaries in the then Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives; Mr Olusegun Onamuti, Dr Olajide Bashorun as well as all the Directors of Cooperatives namely Mrs Olufunmilayo Bamtefa, Mrs Ayo Awokulehin and the current Director,  Mrs  Zulikha O. Ibrahim for the various roles they played in the development of the project.

I am greatly indebted to Lagos Co-operators who rallied round to make this dream come true. I appreciate all cooperative societies who remitted the N200 development levy per member which collection amounted to N12,355,800.00 and the 9 selected cooperative societies who loaned us various sums to complete the project.
Alaro Standing Order led by Mrs. M. O. A. Azeez
Lagos State Hospitals Management Board Senior Staff CMS led by Mrs. Temitope Sikaiye
Federal Inland Revenue Service Staff CMS led by Mr. Loqman Amolegbe
Ministry of Defence Civilian Staff CMS led by Mr. Usman Bashiru
Lagos Local Government Staff CMS led by Barr. Oladipo Shobule
Federal Ministry of Transportation & Aviation Staff CMS led by Prince Adeyemi
Nigeria Port Authority (HQ) Staff CMS led by Mr. Balogun Adekunle
Nichemtex Staff CMS led by Mr. Samuel Adebayo
Afenifere (Alimosho) CMS led by Mr. Olusegun Shodiya

I wish to also appreciate the Consultants that worked on the project namely Architect Tunde Adekola of Prolinks Associates, Engineer  A. A. Ogunsanya, the Structural Engineer, Alhaji. J. A.  Akinpelu, the Builder,  Mr. Taiwo Aina, the Quantity Surveyor, Messrs Seyto Engineering services,  the Consultant Mechanical and Electrical Engineers and all the Artisans too numerous to mention here.

Otunba Abayomi Ayeola, I am grateful for all you have done for me in life. My other siblings and other members, my friends and well-wishers, thank you and God bless.

The love, prayers and tenderness of my mother and that of my wife cannot go unmentioned at this type of occasion. They are two individuals who contributed greatly to my being.

I cannot end this address without appreciating LASCOFED staff led by the Executive Secretary, Mrs. Ebun Akin-Falaiye for their dedication, cooperation and industry which contributed in no small measure to make today a reality.

Once again, your Excellency, the Governor of Lagos State, Honorable Commissioners, Special Advisers, our Guest Cooperative Leaders, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you most sincerely for the honour done us with your presence. You are all welcome.

Thank you for your attention and patience.

Itesiwaju Eko, Lo Jewa Logun

Tajudeen Oriyomi Ayeola
Lagos State Cooperative Federation
Ogba, Lagos.
19th July, 2016.