The Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Anambra State chapter, has created a forum for cooperative societies to interface with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), First City Monument Bank, Fidelity Bank, Stanbic and NIRSAL with a view to establishing a working relationship between cooperators and financial institutions for ease of fund access.
In this direction, the state chapter of NASME, led by Theophilus Nnolim, mobilised no fewer than 100 members of various cooperative societies under the agricultural value chain to train them on the easiest ways of raising funds for their business survival.
NASME’s secretary in charge of administration, Amos Ejesi, told The Guardian, after the training programme that the seminar was necessitated by the fact that cooperators were in a hurry to get money as the rainy season approached.
Ejesi pointed out that the essence of the seminar was to create a forum where both the cooperators who needed fund but did not have adequate knowledge of the processes and the funding agencies to meet.
Ejesi pointed out that the training had equipped the farmers under the agricultural value chain. He urged cooperative societies to maximise the opportunities presented to them by the state and federal governments.
Speaking at the event earlier, the state chairman of NASME, Nnolim, charged cooperators to arm themselves with knowledge and skills to grow their enterprises beyond sole proprietorship.
He said NASME was ever ready to train, retrain, direct and assist cooperative societies to not only survive the challenges but also to become the highest employers of labour and food suppliers.
Declaring the event open, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Nnamdi Onukwube, said the ministry was not relenting in its efforts to empower entrepreneurs, especially cooperative societies in the state.
The event held in Awka, the state capital, was attended by cooperators across 21 council areas, including food processors, fish farmers, crop producers, commercial banks and the CBN.