Cooperative societies in the eighteen local government councils and the Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma are struggling under serious financial crises following the non remittance of due deductions by the respective Managementsof the councils and the university.
Addressing newsmen shortly after a meeting with officials of the Edo State Ministry of Trade, Investment and Cooperatives led by the Commissioner Aishetu Braimah where the nagging issues were tabled, President of the Federation of Edo Cooperative societies Mr Filani Ojo said the non remittance of the said deductions has crippled activities of the aforementioned cooperative societies in the state.
He disclosed that the management of Ambrose Alli University was yet to remit deductions in Union dues and workers financial commitments to the AAU’s Cooperative Society in the tune of over N800 million. Oredo Local Council he said had withheld over N120 million in deduction of monies belonging to the workers’ Cooperative Society. He however did not state how much the managements of other councils were owing.
Filani Ojo said that the respective Managements in the local government councils and the AAU had over the years formed the dagerous habbits of only the net salaries of workers in their employ at the expense of their gross earnings where all the workers’ financial commitments to the various cooperative societies and unions are contained.
Mr Ojo whose views were coroborated by the presidents of the cooperative societies in Oredo, Etsako West, Owan East local councils and the AAU, noted that all efforts by the leadership of the Federation through regular Interface with the Managements of the affected councils and institution to remit the deductions and stop further withholding of the workers’ life long savings had not yielded any positive results as promises made to the workers’ in the past by Managements we’re not respected.
He said the unhealthy development has crippled the activities of the cooperative societies and make them inable to meet their financial obligations to contributors of the funds.
“We are pained each time members in need especially those with one health challenge or the other apply for loans or have retired and want their money and we are not able to pay them.
” This is the most painful aspects of the matter because workers who are not members of the Cooperatives societies and are not also financially committed anywhere, get their salaries in full”, Kilani emphasized.
What this points to is that there is a deliberate attempts to cripple cooperative societies in the state and thereby deny the contributors the opportunity to reap the benefits of’ their savings as well as kill the culture of savings which is at the core of any business development.
They however appealed to the state Governor, Goodwin Obaseki to intervene and save the cooperative societies from the stranglehold of those withholding their deducted funds to remit same so that the poor contributors can have access to their life savings which they hoped to fall back on while waiting for their retirement benefits or for other uses.