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Sierra Leone News: Co-operatives to be revived

The Registrar of Cooperatives in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Newton R.A. Marlin, has said plans are underway to revive the Cooperative Department. He revealed that since his appointment in June this year it was only at the end of October 2018 that the Department received its allocation from the Ministry of Finance but said the regional offices in Bo, Kenema and Makeni would soon start operations adding that plans are also ongoing for branches to be opened in most, if not all the districts nationwide. Marlin continued that the regional office in the north has been relocated from Magburaka to Makeni. The staff he said are now motivated and positioned to effectively perform their functions. The headquarters building is currently under renovation, and he would engage the media in 2019 to sensitize the public about Cooperatives. According to the Registrar, plans are underway for the Ministry of Trade and Industry to reopen the Koindu International Market in the Kailahun District where Cooperatives would play a major role. The other branches of the Cooperative like agriculture, finance/micro-credit and fishing would be reactivated adding that the Department is also sponsoring some students to pursue the Cooperative Studies Course at the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology from which 6 have graduated while others from different organizations would be sponsored to pursue the course with plans to increase the number to 20 or 30 students in the coming years. He went on to reveal that the Irish and Canadian Cooperatives are also providing micro-credit to different cooperatives intimating that this is the first time in the history of the Department to host the highest number of students on internship totaling 21 from Milton Margai College and the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM. “I want to advance the Cooperative Department within five years,” the Registrar maintained.

28/11/18

By Saidu Bah

Thursday November 29, 2018.

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