WELCOME ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE PRESIDENT OF LAGOS ISLAND MULTIPURPOSE COOPERATIVE UNION.
I am indebted to Almighty God, the giver of life for giving me this opportunity to welcome you all on behalf of Ikeja and Lagos Island Multipurpose Cooperative Unions. It is indeed a pleasure to have you all in our midst today and for the next 2 days. You are most welcome.
On behalf of the Executive Committees and members of the 2 Multipurpose Cooperative Unions and in particular the planning committee, I welcome everyone to this joint retreat. The retreat is an educational program packed with social flavour. Therefore, we shall spice it up with entertainment as we go along.
This is the second time that the 2 MCUs will be collaborating for this kind of programme and sincerely, our individual and collective strengths have been harnessed to give the event a class.
A cocktail party was held last night to usher our esteemed participants and guests into this cozy, world-class and hospitality arena. I hope you had a swell time at the party. The essence of that was to relax and get everyone prepared for the more serious technical sessions which will be held today.
Before we go into the technical session and following this welcome address, we shall listen to the number one cooperator in Nigeria, that is the President of Cooperative Federation of Nigeria (CFN) who also doubles as the President of Lagos State Cooperative Federation (LASCOFED) whom we are privileged to have in our midst today. I am talking about no other person than High Chief Oriyomi Ayeola. Next would the keynote address by the amiable Director of Cooperatives, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Ibraheem, who would also declare the retreat open. Once again, we appreciate you for finding time to be with us today and expectedly throughout the programme. We are eager to have you share your wealth of experience with our distinguished participants.
The retreat is themed “Expanding Cooperative Frontiers” in line with the directives of our apex body, Lagos State Cooperative Federation (LASCOFED). The technical session will therefore be centred on this theme with a focus for which my colleagues and I painstakingly selected- Production and Exportation of Agricultural Goods: A Goldmine Untapped as topic for discussion. This is an educational discourse aimed at redirecting our minds to the various ways we can expand cooperative operations beyond what we are doing now. Our focus is to move from local to national and international collaborations.
In recent times, attention has shifted to the agricultural sector as the area to salvage the nation’s over-dependence on petroleum, thus improving the nation’s economic strength. With the rapid improvement obvious with the agricultural sector, it is pertinent that cooperative societies shifted attention to production and exportation of such goods to the outside world. Simply, investment is required in the agricultural sector, which I believe the Cooperative Movement could venture considering our economic power.
In relation to the above, we shall have an interactive session, which will be used to discuss the impact of the Naira-Yuan Swap and the opportunities for cooperative societies.
We are aware that most of the participants are elderly, therefore we promise not to keep you too long on any particular event. In view of this, today’s session will end before lunch to allow us observe Jumat Prayers or other personal schedules.
In consideration of the importance of health to the well-being of man and functioning effectively in responsible positions which most of us hold, we purpose to continue the programme tomorrow with a Health Walk very early in the morning; before breakfast. I implore us to make this a routine and not one-off. Sincerely, many ailments will be nipped in the bud if we make walking a routine alongside regular check-ups. Provision has been made for medical check after the walk. This will run for about 1-2 hours during which breakfast will be served in the restaurant.
Games competition is planned for noon. This is to exercise the brain and socialize amongst ourselves. We implore us to take advantage of this as we can also network during this period.
Finally, the closing dinner and gala night will be the high point of this 3 days programme which promises to be fulfilling and fun-filled.
Once again, on behalf of the Planning Committee, we are highly honoured by your presence and appreciate each and everyone and particularly all cooperative societies here present. We promise that you will find the time you spend with us highly rewarding.
President, Lagos Island MCU