The Reliance Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society (RTCCS) in Nigeria aims to help tackle unemployment in the country by running free training and education programmes for young people looking to develop practical skills such as barbering, tailoring, hairdressing, agriculture or tie-dye.
The training will be paid in full by RTCCS. At the end of the scheme, the five most promising candidates will be set up to trade, with their tools and initial rent covered by the co-operative.
Bayonle Omoyele, managing director at RTCCS told independent newspaper Vanguard that this was “us as a co-operative giving back to the society”.
He told the publication the co-operative tried to have an impact on its members’ lives, by helping them to cultivate habits of service, including advising them to invest those funds, for a good return.
“Our members who need financial support for their businesses, we help them with loans. There is something that makes us special, it is asset acquisition. We basically help business owners groom their businesses,” he told Vanguard.
Mr Omoyele commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its efforts in providing loans for small and medium scale enterprises and young entrepreneurs in the country– and for kick-starting the Nirsal Microfinance Bank which has “been at the forefront of loan disbursements and Covid-19 disbursements”.
But he also called on CBN and the federal government to disburse future loans through co-operatives. “They should call on registered and licensed co-operative societies as we have the figures and numbers, and we are closer to the grassroots than any other establishment,” he said.