Nigeria Newspapers

Cost of living: NCoS cooperative society offers soft loans to personnel

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The Nigeria Correctional Service Cooperative Society said it gave out soft loans to members to cushion the economic hardships bedeviling the country.

The General Manager of the Cooperative Society, Lydia Abraham, made this known at the 27th Annual General Meeting of the Correctional Service Multipurpose Cooperative Society held in Abuja on Thursday.

The increasing cost of living in the country sparked demonstrations as youths and women from various parts of the country took to the streets to voice their concerns, joined by the Nigerian Labour Congress to protest the economic challenge.

Abraham noted that the cooperative was aimed at enhancing the welfare of every staff of the NCoS while in active service, after retirement and upon demise.

She explained, “A large number of officers are retiring from the S
Service this year, 2024 requiring the payment of substantial amounts in terminal benefits.

“This situation limits the ability of COCOS to engage in other welfare packages for staff like the supply of rice and other food stuff, household items and granting of soft loans.

“COCOS has liaised and directed the Microfinance Banks to provide some of these services to Correctional officers. Henceforth, loans, supply of rice and land acquisition – will be done by the Banks. COCOS and the Banks have worked out the modalities for these services.”

She also noted that some beneficiaries of the staff housing scheme have completed their buildings, while majority are still paying for the land within the period of five years.

“The Staff housing scheme was flagged off on the 21st November 2020 with the acquisition of 160 plots of land at the KYC La Villa Diamante Housing Estate, Airport Road Abuja.

“The repayment period for the land is 5 years commencing from November 2020 and payments are still ongoing. Some beneficiaries have completed their buildings, others are under construction while majority are still paying for the land,” the General Manager added.

At the event, the Controller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa said its cooperative society was a reference point for other organizations.

Nababa noted, “Nigerian Correctional Service through the activities of COCOS has given a very good account of itself by way of addressing the basic welfare concerns of staff.

“Indeed, COCOS has remained one of the golden achievements of the Service. From a paltry deduction of ₦2:00 only, per staff in 1988, COCOS has today grown to be a phenomenal reference point for other organizations.”

The CG however urged the cooperative society to urgently come up with measures to reduce the economic hardships on members.

“However, given the state of the Nigerian economy and the attendant high cost of living, we have an urgent demand to think outside the box and come up with measures that will help bridge the prevailing economic gaps for our personnel.

“The need for them to be in the right frame of mind to concentrate on their duties rather than living under the pressure of trying to make ends meet, should drive us to passionately pursue this goal.

“It is only by so doing that the Cooperative will truly answer its name, of being a dependable shoulder to lean on, in time of need”, Nababa said.