FIWON Holds Workshop on the Social and Solidarity Economy
Social and Solidarity Economy is intrinsic to the African indigenous economic system. A man builds his house with the assistance of his peers, plants and harvests with the labour of his age grades and even now, rotatory savings (ajo, adashi, esusu) is the only way money is raised for start – ups in the informal sector for many.
The Cooperative Movement one of the most important modern expression of the solidarity economy. For example, the Cooperative Union of Western Nigeria was able to play a major role in the establishment of the Cooperative Apexes such as the Association of Nigeria Exporters Limited, Cooperative Press Limited, Cooperative Transport Limited, Cooperative Cocoa Limited, Cooperative Bank of Western Nigeria, Cooperative Supply Association and Cooperative Investment and Trust Society Limited which was all facilitated with a generous grant of 1 million pounds by the Western Regional Government under Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
According to the first Registrar of Cooperative Societies in Nigeria, the coop movement was pivotal to the production, processing and marketing of cocoa in Southwest. It organized 20,000 members grouped in 300 primary societies federated into 12 unions. 9 of these unions were members of the Association of Nigerian Cooperative Exporters (ANCE). It is therefore clear that the cooperative movement, up till the 1960s, were pivotal to economic development, job provision and quality production. FIWON leveraged on this context by registering a FIWON Multipurpose Cooperative and Thrift Society in 2017. Recently, 42 FIWON leaders drawn from Plateau, Kogi Kaduna and Kaduna states were trained in a workshop held in Abuja, July 14, 2021, on how to leverage on these experiences to build local chapters of the Coop. movement to access critical social insurance services and accumulate working capital…the program was powered by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES).
The German development foundation, GIZ Nigerian German Center for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (GIZ-NGC) supported a 10-day training of 50 FIWON members on basic entrepreneurship and financial inclusion skills. The training introduced FIWON members to basic book – keeping, business management, advertising, as well as operations of POS services. The training also introduced the new FIWON members to the FIWON Cooperative operations and the integration of the social insurance services into the cooperative society’s operations. They were encouraged to become FIWON Champions in propagating the value of health insurance, mortgage, life and accident insurance etc. which regular savings into the Cooperative could help leverage. At the end of the training, participants were presented with Android phones and POS machines to facilitate financial services and help encourage regular savings among FIWON members in their communities. The participants were carefully selected from FIWON membership clusters all over Lagos State…The program was rounded June 17, 2022.