2020 AGM: JAMB -JICCS to Declare Bumper Dividends Despite Covid-19 Pandemic

A head of the 2020 Annual General AMeeting of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board(JAMB) staff Joint Investment And Credit Cooperative Society(JICCS) scheduled for 30th January, 2021, the Cooperative is set to declare bumper dividend for its members.

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The JICCS also commended the Board's management for the various interventions to reposition the Society as well as its intervention in resolving the impasse between the Society and a financial house contracted to provide credit facility to complete the remaining 35 units of blocks of flats at the Dibu Ojerinde Staff Estate.

The JICCS Management, in an interaction with JAMBulletin, preparatory to the first virtual meeting of the society, reiterated the determination of the Society to take the JAMB-JICCS to the next level. In a chat with the duo of the President of JICCS, Mr. Aliyu Muhammad, and General Secretary, Mr. Caleb Musa, the over 1,316 members of the Society were commended for their resilience and support for the leadership to turn around the fortunes of the body for the better.

The President, on behalf of his Executives, maintained that the Society would never take the unalloyed support of members for granted. He disclosed that for the year ended, the JICCS had declared a whopping surplus of twenty-two million, eight hundred and eight thousand, one hundred and thirteen naira, thirty-seven kobo ( 22,818,113.37). Out of this amount, he disclosed that his Executives had recommended twelve million, three hundred and twenty-one thousand, seven hundred- and eighty-onenaira, twenty-two kobo ( 12,321,781.22) representing 54% of the surplus to be shared as dividend to members - subject to agreement and ratification by the Congress. He said in the year ended, the JICCS recorded a 21% leap in dividend when compared with 2019 that had 16,780,042.7 as surplus and 9,732,424.77 declared as dividend.

Mr. Muhammad explained that the raging COVID-19 pandemic coupled with its attendant negative impact on the various projections of the Society had only serve to strengthen the Society's resolve to maximize the opportunities thrown up by the unfortunate situation for improved services that culminated in the bumper dividend declared for members. He said, "The far-reaching consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the global economy throughout the year 2020, Nigeria inclusive. As such, at the micro level, the Society had to limit its services to dispensing loans, e-Pin vending and POS transactions which severely impacted many of our projections.

However, in spite of the constraints imposed by the pandemic, the Society was able to record the following achievements in the year 2020: Commencement of deduction from subscribers to Dibu Ojerinde Estate; Procurement of land for the Dibu Ojerinde Estate Phase 3; Procurement of a Cooperative Shop and the Introduction of an Investment Portfolio, among others, which time may not permit us to mention." He also hinted that the society is fully automated to take its services to the doorsteps of members adding that services such as application for loans, commodities, home appliances, adjustment of thrift, byelaw are now available and accessible online. He enjoined members to visit www.Jmcs.org.ng to download and study the new bye-law. Furthermore, Mr. Muhammad had underscored the importance of continuous training of members to acquire relevant skills. To that end, he expressed the desire of JICCS to empower members through investment training opportunities and entrepreneurial skills development in conjunction with the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and other relevant organisations. He urged members to bring forth proposals on areas of investment. On the JICCS shares, he said it would be fully operational in 2021 noting that only shareholders would be entitled to dividend henceforth, just as he disclosed that the Society had set 28th February, 2021, as closing date for all intending shareholders to submit their expression of interest forms. Commenting on the staff strength of JICCS, the President said, "Our membership strength stands at 1,316 as of December, 2020."

He stated that in the year under review, the Society had welcomed 61 new members and recorded 78 withdrawals. Out of the withdrawals, 21 were occasioned by retirement, death or transfer of service while 57 were regular members of staff. Mr. Muhammad reassured members of continued selfless and quality service and urged them to keep faith with the Society as it rolled out measures that would empower members the more. He said, "In 2021, the Society aims to grow the surplus even more. Dividend had increased in 2020, more should be expected in 2021 as the Management Committee is determined more than ever to bring more value to your investment. This is just the beginning." Similarly, the General Secretary, Mr. Caleb Musa, commended the swift intervention of the Board's Management in resolving the impasse between the society and a loan facilitator. He noted that the idea of seeking a was mooted to complete the second phase of 35 units of flats at Dibu Ojerinde Estate.

Mr. Musa pointed out that the intended loan had come with stringent conditions, hidden charges and questionable phrases while the interest rate was subject to change by the bank without recourse or notice to JICSS. Other conditions according to the softspoken scribe is that the Estate would be marketed to other National Housing Fund contributors which is against the concept and vision of the founder for an homegrown solution that would deliver quality owner-occupier and affordable houses to members.

He also hinted that part of the cause of the imbroglio was the change of nomenclature from Dibu Ojerinde Housing Estate to "JICCS-National Housing Fund Estate." He said the purported botched loan would have been a booby trap capable of jeopardizing the noble idea of fulfilling the dreams of members to own their houses. To forestall this, Mr. Musa disclosed that the Management of the Board had moved swiftly to resolve the impasse by setting up a 4-man committee. The JICCS scribe said, "The committee was very wonderful as it was able to resolve the impasse between us and the company speedily. To me personally, saving a flagship project of the Cooperative is one of the major achievements of the Society in the past year as the standing and resources of the JICCS would have been badly affected. We thanked the Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, for his timely intervention." Mr. Musa also commended the Registrar for granting the Society waivers to access its Secretariat located within the National Headquarters during the nationwide lockdown. As such, the Society was able to reach out to members who desired one intervention or another.

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