The National Association of Co-operative Credit Unions of Nigeria (NACCUN) has requested to partner with Federal Government to manage the Mobile Telephone handsets to be distributed to farmers in Nigeria.
Mr Adebola Orolugbagbe, President of the group, made this known at the First stakeholders meeting on Thursday in Abuja.
"We made a request to government through the Ministry of Agriculture to allow us to join and manage the mobile Telephone handsets being organised for distribution to co-operative farmers in Nigeria.
"We do not intend to participate in the procurement of the handsets.
"all that we seek is that the co-operative movement, through NACCUN consulting, is allowed to provide SIM cards for all the four networks.
"This will be done through the cooperative Mobile telephony service that is already in operation to all our cooperative farmers," he said.
According to Orolugbagbe, it will help the movement to look after its members and ensure that they benefit effectively from the government programme.
He said the existing service would provide the farmers with voice service on a platform that would enable them to speak to each other and network appropriately.
Orolugbagbe said the association would go further to summit its proposal to other agencies afflicted with the government in the project to enable them understand the need for NACCUN to be part of the programme.
"We want to make sure that the SIM cards that go into the handset is for cooperative farmers only and we are claiming five million out of the 10 million farmers.
"And we also want to ensure that SIM card that goes into the phone is from cooperative Close User Group (CUG) SIM cards."
He assured of the association's commitment to ensure that the cooperative society in Nigeria occupied its rightful place in the growth and development of the economy.
Also, Mrs Lydia Fayanjuola, the Director, Delta State Co-operative Financing Agency, said it was unfortunate that credit unions in Nigeria was yet to take its stand in cooperative movement.
She aid that though Nigeria had participated in various congresses across Africa on cooperative matters, it still ranked below Kenya and Ghana.
Fayanjuola urged members to ensure active participation in the activities of NACCUN to enable it play its role in economic development.
"NACCUN should grow to be one that cannot be compared to any other such group in Africa," she said.