NEWS UPDATE - EXPERTS ADVOCATE FOR RETURN TO AGRICULTURE ...As VC urges TASUED Cooperative societies to invest in vocational training

Experts have advised cooperative societies in the University to utilise the opportunities inherent in the scheme to invest in agriculture as it is the only mainstay of the nation's economy just as the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu has called on the University's Centre for Vocational Studies (CENVOS) to design specialised vocational training and skills acquisition programmes for cooperators, particularly, while still in service in order to help them plan for life after retirement.

The Vice Chancellor made this call at the 1st Education Summit organised by the Senior Staff Cooperative Multipurpose Society Ltd. which had as the theme "Small Business Development and Management - The Roles of Cooperative Multipurpose Societies", was held at the University's main Campus, Ijagun recently.

He also commended the Society for organising the Summit describing it as second to none. "This is the first time am witnesting this since my 30 years of service stay on this Campus", the Vice Chancellor added.

In his opening remarks, the President of TASUED Senior Cooperative, Dr. B.O.Osiyale urged members to exploit the maximum benefit of Cooperative power. "This cooperative power is meant to arouse the entrepreneurial skill in our members. We read in newspapers and watch on television on a daily basis countless pain and agony retired public servants undergo while waiting endlessly for their gratuity and pension due to dwindling economic fortunes of our country. Now, it is the time for our members to be proactive and avail ourselves of the immense benefits of the Cooperative Society in establishing a business and developing same for lasting benefit", he added.

While declaring the Summit opened, Commissioner for Community Development and Cooperative Services Ogun State, Hon. Francis Gbenga Adenmosun, who was represented by the Cooperative Registrar, Mr. Olaoye Oladehinde commended the University Management for providing a conducive environment to the Society to operate.

He, therefore, urged the University Management not to relent on its effort by ensuring that staff welfare remains their priority.

The lead paper, titled, "Small Business Development and Management - The Role of Multipurpose Societies", was delivered by a Senior Auditor at the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Mr. Sunday Taiwo where he highlighted considerations for establishing a business, management of small business and problems cum challenges faced by small business among other factors.

He concluded by shedding more light on the roles cooperative multipurpose societies play in small scale business. "With the trend of Nigerian economy nowadays, it is my candid submission that every salary earner should look for a small business to engage in", he summitted.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Wole Banjo in his paper titled, "Small Business Development: Venturing into Animal Husbandry", opined that the current reality is that "good jobs" are dead and unavailable.

"Most people are ignorant of the economic potentials in agribusiness and hence the need for an urgent reorientation. Farming is a highly viable business as its produce will always be of high demand as long as Nigerian population keeps increasing at alarming rate, demand for food and other farm produce will continue to soar higher too. Among the various aspect of agriculture, animal husbandry is the most profitable and a major source of employment for our teeming youths. Early yielding investment requires little space and livestock farming is gradually becoming the next oil-providing income", Prof. Banjo added.

In a related submission, Prof. Edwards Alademerin in his paper delivered by a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Agriculture, College of Vocational and Technology Education (COVTED), Dr. Timothy Olawunmi in a lecture titled "Small Business Development: Venturing into Crop Production", also submitted that what readily comes to mind while thinking of small scale business is farming, particularly, crop farming.

He observed that agribusiness is less risky, very lucrative, requires little space and small capital. He, however, advised cooperators venturing into farming to consider patronising insurance policies in order to safeguard their investments in agriculture.

Goodwill messages were later delivered by Chapter Chairmen of staff unions in the University, this includes Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, (SSANU), Mr. Akeem Kehinde; Secretary, Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU), Dr. Rufai and a representative of the National Association of Academic Technologists,(NAAT), Mrs. Banjo.

Certificates of participation were later presented to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu; the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Wole Banjo; the Acting Registrar, Mr. Babatunde Oduwole; the University Bursar, Mr. Ifeoluwa Odusanya and the University Librarian, Mrs. Sola Oyesiku while former Presidents of the Society were also presented with certificates. They include Dr. Femi Kayode, Dr. Abiodun Ojo, Mr. Wale Oduyoye and Mr. Ifeoluwa Odusanya as well as other participants.