This research work was designed to see to the way the areas could be developed through the co-operative society with Idah Local Government Area of Kogi State as a case study, Oral interview were carried out, several book were consulted and also, finding of registered co-operative societies and number of their members were carried out. From the findings, it revealed that those areas with co-operative societies gain more government attention than those without co-operative societies. The study reveals that for a government to achieve all round development empowering co-operative societies should be given utmost attention.
1.1 INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The problem of developing the rural area has received the attention of many experts and researchers as well as the government. This is because it constitutes a serious bottleneck to the socio-economic development of the country as well as the communities. It is in the light of this, that I have decided to examine how rural areas would be developed with the help or assistance of co-operative societies using Idah local Government as the case study.
Rural development according to Diejomoah (2003) is “ The process of not only increasing the level of per capital income in the rural area but also the standard of living of the rural population measured by food and nutrition level, health, education, housing, recreation and security. Also Rural development according to UNO (1960) is “The process by which the effort of he people themselves are United with effort that of government authorities to improved the economic social and cultural conditions of the rural communities to integrate those community into life of the nation and to enable them contribute meaningful to national development.
Therefore, Rural Development is an integration activity involving the Implementation of programmes of agriculture, health, education, home management, provision of infrastructure and other community facilities under the supervision of the government, its agencies and the local people.
Co-operative society is one of the principal agent of rural development. It is not only an avenue for job opportunities, but also as a training ground for the rural dwellers and other society and economic benefits. Hence, it is a strong factor in the nations economic development.
Helms (2005) on the other hand defines co-operative society as an association of persons who have voluntarily joined together to have a common end through the formation of a democratically controlled enterprise, making equitable contribution to the capital required and accepting a fair share of the risk and benefit of the undertaking in which the member activity participate. On the other hand it could be seen as a voluntarily association of persons having mutual ownership in providing themselves some needed service on non-profit basis usually organized as a legal entity to accomplish objectives through joint participation of its members.
As it is, the problem faced by the rural dwellers in Nigeria today is complex. It is those in he rural areas who have to produce not only enough for their families but also for industries and urban population. They also have to produce cash crops either for processing by local industries or for export. Still they lack the basic necessities of life.
Co-operative is a vital issue in every community in this world. Place where it has been properly put into effective operation, its members have greatly achieve something from it. Idah Local Government area is one of the area where co-operative societies have improved the live of its citizens.
Hence assistance should be given to the rural people e.g. Idah people so as to enable them improve politically, economically, socially and otherwise through co-operative societies.
This project therefore, intends to examine rural development, discuss or diagnose strategies adopted by coo-operative societies in developing rural areas. Examine the problem areas if coo-operative societies and to provide recommendation or solution to the problem so far identified.