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Stop investing clients’ monies in Ponzi schemes, Edo tells cooperative societies

Stop investing clients’ monies in Ponzi schemes, Edo tells cooperative societies
November 30
15:19 2023

Enoma Efeomo, Edo director of cooperatives in the state ministry of business, trade and cooperatives (MBTC), has warned the stakeholders against investing “cooperators’ monies in Ponzi schemes”.

Efeomo gave the warning during a 2-day workshop organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Edo Cooperative Federation and supported by LAPO Microfinance Bank, in Benin — the state capital.

Speaking at the workshop, Efeomo said the ministry would not hesitate to wield the big stick if cooperative societies patronise Ponzi schemes with monies entrusted to them.

“The ministry gives a guide (By-laws) upon registration of a cooperative, expecting that after a while, such by-laws are amended to suit specific needs of the cooperative society,” she said.

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Efeomo said it is critical to clarify that the ministry only regulates the activities of registered cooperatives and does not make loan distribution decisions.

“The daily operations of cooperatives are the responsibility of their members and leadership, not the Ministry,” she said.

“Cooperatives not registered with the Ministry of Business Trade and Cooperative are operating illegally as Cap 45 of 1976 applicable to Edo state makes registration of cooperatives mandatory.”

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On his part, Patrick Uanseru, Edo state commissioner at the MBTC ministry, said as far as the workshop is concerned, the state government is determined to improve the overall wellbeing of its citizens.

Uanseru, who was represented by Bose Igbinobaro, the permanent secretary in the ministry, charged stakeholders and trustees on the importance of cooperative society as a business model, describing it as a “serious business”.

On his part, Falani Ojo, president of the Edo Cooperative Federation, urged cooperative executives to be responsible and do justice without bias, especially in loan administration.

He said everyone must be given a sense of belonging.

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