Ahead of the swearing of Professor Chukwuma Soludo as the next governor of Anambra State on March 17, 2022, one of the groups that campaigned for his emergence as the governor-elect, Anambra Demand Soludo, ADS, has transformed into a cooperative society to assist its members key into the economic agenda of the incoming administration.
Essentially, the cooperative society known as Advanced Development Solutions Initiative, ADSI, has planned to raise N500 million at N500 per share through the sale of one million shares for its members within and outside the country.
Chairman of ADSI, Sir Jude Emecheta said at the inauguration of the group in Awka, that a Board of Trustees, BoT, has already been put in place to manage the fund on behalf of its members.
Emecheta said: “There is no way we can say we worked for Soludo’s emergence as governor of Anambra State and expect him to give all of us appointments. It is not possible. What we can do is to key into Soludo’s good governance structure and the best way to achieve that is to get ourselves into cooperatives.
“We have set a target of N500 million and the money will come from within and outside the country. People are free to acquire as many shares as they can afford under the cooperative and they must be our registered members.
“Once the money comes in, we invest it into viable areas, including agriculture and manufacturing.
“We don’t have to wait for the government to give us money. In addition to the N500 million we intend to raise, ADSI will also explore other funding sources, including the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, which also funds cooperatives.
“Any member of this cooperative society will benefit from the dividends to be shared whenever they mature. Members of the BoT of ADSI have also set aside some money that will be used to pay for our members who may not have the N500 to pay for a share because we want everybody who worked for Soludo to be part of this programme.
“Our belief is that with N500 million, a lot of our members will be empowered”.
Emecheta said that in addition, there would be a register of all those who played various roles towards the success of Professor Soludo in the last election, adding that the idea is that once the governor looks at the list, he would be in a position to pick someone for appointment.
“The era when few people would compile names of their friends and give the governor to pick from is gone”, he said.