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PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF COOPERATIVE SOCIETY IN NIGERIA

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PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF COOPERATIVE SOCIETY IN NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

In this research work, the researcher empirically unveil the problems and prospects of cooperative society in Oyi  LG in Anambra State. In the course the research, it was discovered that: Cooperative provides ready markets for members produce. Members are encouraged to engage in economic production and services that enhance gross domestic product and national income. Retail goods are made available for the consumption of the cooperators as well as the public at affordable prices. Bonuses are given to members on patronage which enhance their personal income. Cooperative members readily benefited from government and non-government organizations of expert advisory services in various ways. Cooperative enjoys soft loan benefits from the governments, banks and other similar institutions for the operation of their joint or individual businesses. Functional cooperatives education and training imparted on the members enable them to do well in their businesses. Standard of living of the cooperators has been raised thus guaranteeing quality of members’ lives. Cooperative is a major vehicle for a nation’s industrial development.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.0     THE BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Although co-operation as a form of individual and societal behaviour is intrinsic to human organization, the history of modern co-operative forms of organizing dates back to the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries. The status of which was the ‘first co-operative’ is under some dispute, but various milestones in the history may be identified.

In 1761, the Fenwick Weavers’ Society was formed in Fenwick, East Ayrshire, Scotland to sell discounted oatmeal to local workers. Its services expanded to include assistance with savings and loans, emigration and education. In 1810, Welsh social reformer Robert Owen, from Newtown in mid-Wales, and his partners purchased New Lanark mill from Owen’s father-in-law and proceeded to introduce better labor standards including discounted retail shops where profits were passed on to his employees. Owen left New Lanark to pursue other forms of co-operative organization and develop co-op ideas through writing and lecture. Co-operative communities were set up in Glasgow, Indiana and Hampshire, although ultimately unsuccessful. In 1828, William King set up a newspaper, The Cooperator, to promote Owen’s thinking, having already set up a co-operative store in Brighton.

The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, founded in 1844, is usually considered the first successful co-operative enterprise, used as a model for modern co-ops, following the ‘Rochdale Principles’. A group of 28 weavers and other artisans in Rochdale, England set up the society to open their own store selling food items they could not otherwise afford. Within ten years there were over 1,000 co-operative societies in the United Kingdom.

Other events such as the founding of a friendly society by the Tolpuddle Martyrs in 1832 were key occasions in the creation of organized labor and consumer movements.

From the report of the workshop held on 10th – 11th November 2008 during the 8 the ICA Africa regional assembly at the international conference centre, Abuja. Mr Tom Tar – The Executive Secretary of Cooperative Federation of Nigeria, In his introduction of the movement in Nigeria, said the Cooperative Federation of Nigeria (CFN) was formed in 1945 and got registered in 1967.

He traced the background of cooperatives in Nigeria to the traditional savings and loans system. He added that following agitation by the Agege Cocoa planters Union in 1907, the study for establishment of formal cooperation was commissioned in 1934. This was followed by the enactment of cooperative legislation in 1935. The early move was in agriculture and latter shifted to marketing following the shift in the Nigerian economy from agriculture to crude oil. He gave the scope of cooperative activities in Nigeria as covering: On population, he said there are about  5million family members covering 20 million house holds. Total number of registered cooperative societies is about 50,000.

1.1    STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM

In considering the statement of the research problem, these question readily come to mind:

(i) Can any competent person  become a member of a society, at anytime.

(ii) Is the liability of the members is unlimited.

(iii) do the government encourages and supports the formation of co-operative societies by providing subsidies and exemptions.

(iv) Can It exist for long due to a legal entity separate from its members.

(v) Is the society managed by one person only.

1.2    THE OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

It would have been a total waste of time, efforts, energy and of course fund, in conducting this research if it was not meant to achieve any meaningful objectives. The research would also have been seen as a fruitless exercise if there were no fundamental objectives to be achieved at the end of the study. The major objective of the study therefore was analysing the problems and prospects of cooperative society in Anambra State but the subsidiary objectives are:

– Cooperatives put people at the centre of their business and not capital.

– in cooperative movement, the welfare of members is emphasized

– Cooperatives engage in business activities that touch members e.g. schools building, credit.

         – cooperative Create jobs and empowerment for members

– cooperative Render service rather than making profit

– cooperative  emphasis on Mutual help instead of competition

– cooperative offers Self help instead of dependence

1.3    THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study is significant because it will produce data on cooperative movement in Nigeria that will be useful to:

  1. federal ministry of labour and productivity
  2. national union of local government employees
  3. state civil service commission
  4. federal civil service commission .
  5. managers and top executives in organized private sector
  6. united nation commission on employment
  7. federal ministry of finance
  8. Central bank of Nigeria
  9. students carrying out a research work in this same issue.

1.4   HYPOTHESES

It is a conjectural statement of the relationships between two or more variables. It is testable, tentative problem explanation of the relationship between two or more variables that create a state of affairs or phenomenon.

E.C. Osuola (1986 page 48) said hypothesis should always be in declarative sentence form, and they should relate to them generally or specially variable to variables.

HYPOTHESIS THUS:

  1. Explain observed events in a systematic manner
  2. Predict the outcome of events and relationships
  3. Systematically summarized existing knowledge.

In essence, there exist NULL HYPOTHESIS set up only to nullify the research hypothesis and the ALTERNATIVE HYPOTHESIS for the purpose of the study. For the efficiency of the study, the hypothesis is as follows:

       Null Hypothesis (HO)

  1. The liability of the members is not unlimited.

       2 The society is not managed by one person only.

Alternative Hypothesis      (HI)

  1. The liability of the members is unlimited.
  2. The society is managed by one person only.

1.5 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

A research work of this nature cannot come to an end without limitation. The researcher encountered numerous problems which affected the smooth running of the work. These problems includes, difficulty in procuring materials for the project, time factor and financial constraints.

Material Procurement

There was a lot constraints as to getting information and materials for the job. The researcher made series of consultations and visit to most renowned institutions to acquire the needed information. Most materials used were very difficult to come by, as there is no library within the town.

Time Constraints

Combining academic work with job is no doubt a thought provoking issue, as it has to do with time. Actually, a lot of time was wasted as the researcher visited the organizations and individuals together with government agencies to obtain valuable information for the project.

Financial Constraints

The researcher would have obtained more information than what is obtainable here but due to lack of money to visit some of the firms and government agencies located a bit farther from the researcher place of resident.

1.6 THE STRUCTURE OF THE WORK

This research work is to be organized in five chapters as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Review of related literature
  • Research method
  • Data presentation and analysis
  • Findings, Summary, and conclusion
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