ASSESSMENT OF THE ROLE OF COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES IN POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

From the beginning of mankind, man has been engaged in a continuous battle to liberate himself from the shackle condition of life called poverty. Consider the following situation.

A.  A destitute is begging for alms at Public Park to buy food from a nearby food stand.

B.  A young university trained professional lost her job a few months ago and her bills are mounting because she is still employed.

C.  An investor is unable to pay his children’s school fees this semester because his expected earning from investments did not materialize.

D.  A millionaire needs to take tranquilizer every night because he cannot sleeps without them.

Which of these four people would you consider poor? A is both income poor and socially deprived. B may not be socially deprived. Being well educated but she is income poor, being educated but she is income poor, being out of employment. C is cash poor, but only for a short time because he can convert has investment into cash if necessary. D is not poor by any material standards but he is spirit poor because money cannot buy him a sound sleep.

In general, a discussion of poverty as a socio – economic issues is limited mainly to the situations covered in A and B above. But cooperative’s pride themselves as “enterprises” with a soul” will target all four cases.

The definition and measurement of poverty can be quite elusive. It varies from place to place and from time to time. Poverty is a condition of life so degraded by disease, illiteracy malnutrition as it denies the basic human necessities. It is therefore difficult to give a precise definition of poverty. But the poor society in terms of their economic, cultural Social and psychological condition. In an attempt to attack this chronic disease (poverty) the basic problems of development should be redefined as a selective attack on the worst form of poverty.

Developmental goals must be defined in terms of the progressive reduction and eventually elimination of malnutrition, diseases, illiteracy, unemployment and inequality. Once again the relationship between poverty and development is clear. Where there is abundant poverty there is little or no development. After all, the process of development itself is geared towards the elimination of poverty and inequality in order to give room for a better life for mankind.

Cooperatives societies which is primarily to alleviate poverty among people because the purpose of incorporating the society is to meet the common felt needs of the members and the general public on social and economic needs as well as cultural aspirations of the individual thereby complementing the efforts of the government towards the alleviation of poverty in the society. Cooperatives is aimed at receiving the policies towards alleviating of poverty in the society in terms of their economic, cultural, social and psychological condition of both members and the general public. Over the years cooperatives has made efforts in reducing the poor standards of living of the poor masses in the society. Hence the importance of Cooperatives towards the alleviation of poverty can not be over emphasized; it can be summarized in the following succeeding lines:

a.   Cooperatives encourage the poor in the society to save little money that may be encountered, so that they can conveniently solve the problems.

b.   Cooperatives create/open up viable avenue for the less privilege to benefit from government and any other credit outside their places of work in order to enable them solve immediate problems and other top benefit from them.

c.   Stimulation of economic growth through the engagement of semi skilled and unskilled labour in productive activities.

d.   Minimizing rural – Urban drift through the improvement of rural communities. 

e.   Empowering the environment to arrest environmental deregulation.

Programme activities and strategies to achieve the objectives of cooperatives towards alleviation of poverty include.

a.   Cooperatives are trying to reduce the alarming rate of poverty through the provision of goods and services at a cheaper cost for the common average man to afford.

b.   Cooperatives help to prevent exploitation of the less privilege. By organizing workshop/seminars to educate areas that are yet to develop in terms of education, inadequate health centers, inadequate companies to work for their daily wages in order to better their lives and reduce the rate of poverty in the society.

c.   Empowering women and men to participate in decision that affect lives and that enables them to build their strengths and assets.

1.1    BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Nigeria like other developing countries have done a lot in terms of improving the standards of its citizens through the provision of employment, shelter, food supplies, basic infrastructural facilities, good education system and a conducive political and socio – economic environment. Of all these deep-rooted social and economic ills, the most frightening is poverty, it is alarming because it’s capacity of learning all social fabric and social values. Consequently, all attempt made to reduce poverty cannot be improved.

Nigeria, since independence has been battling on how to reduce poverty on its citizenry. In this regard, programmes, agencies. And a mission were drawn, instituted and formed to address this ugly issue or hydro – headed monster (poverty). We are all aware of the philosophies behind regional areas like the Northern Nigeria Development Cooperation (NNDC) Western Nigeria Development Cooperation (WNDC) and Eastern Nigeria Development Cooperation (ENDC).

All these cooperation were constructed for the purpose of giving soft loans for the developmental projects and other employment opportunities to the respective regions from the federal government and from the limited sources of their respective regional areas.

The introduction of cooperatives societies in Nigeria came about through the feasibility study of Mr. Strickland in his reported submitted in 1933 when the Nigeria government realized the significance of cooperative. This resulted to the formation of cooperative. Inspite of all these cooperation, agencies and societies have proved to be very potent in reducing the level of poverty in our society.

1.2       HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Kaduna Multipurpose cooperative society was formed primarily to promote the general economic interest among its aimed at providing cash, kind and loan for necessary productive purpose with society as a means of income and with a reasonable convenient term of repayment. The multipurpose cooperatives society is formed to promote cooperatives spirit among its member and to work for the general improvement of the members living standard.

The cooperative society (FRCN) also engages in any meaningful business ventures or trading. Activities outsides the cooperative society so as to enhance the earnings of the society.

Finally federal Radio Corporation Radio Corporation multipurpose  cooperative society was formed to encourage the development of cooperatives movement in Nigeria 

1.3    STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM.

Poverty as a figure disturbing the people or society are due to the fact that all governmental schemes to alleviate poverty has not been shown in the study area.

The unemployment situation in the society is at the increasing rate among the people due to the limitation of cooperatives awareness in the society. The people fail to know or understand what cooperative really means or is taking about. Due to the high population of Nigeria, which impose the problems of poverty as to no job opportunities in the societies. 

Again despite all the effort of poverty alleviation by the cooperatives movement, there are obstacles that hinder people from participating and enjoying these economic developments. Such obstacles are: lack of adequate cooperative education or awareness and enlightenment amongst the populace as such people respond to cooperative movement very poor. Those who are actively involved in this movement of the cooperatives do not also fully enjoy the economic aspect of the movement, which is the foremost objective of cooperative. This is because of the lack or inadequate cooperative knowledge of its members. Also improper management by committee members of different societies.

This research work, will examine ways of solving the set aside problems that hinders the full participation and   enjoyment of the cooperative movement activities by its member, towards poverty alleviation and the betterment of their social –economic activities.

1.4    OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The objectives of the study are to find out whether cooperative societies can help in the alleviation of poverty. It is also an objective of the study to make comparison on findings from this exercise with previous studies on the same research topic, Again, the objective of the study is to examine if all cooperative principles is best applied in the cooperative societies.  

It is equally an objective of the study to examine the extent of people’s involvement in cooperative particularly in the rural areas.

1.5       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY   

The data Collected analyzed and summarized will be used for decision and possibly recommendations will be forwarded to the parties concerned.

Following the objectives of the study as earlier stated, the significance of this study in the first place, is that, it will assist to bring into focus the real cooperative activities, what they are doing and what can be done to tackle the socio – economic problems of the people for possible appreciation of the places of cooperatives societies in the economy and in the role of poverty reduction among members.

The importance of this study is to underline the fact that poverty is today the dominant factor in the Nigeria human development. This study therefore is expected that the wider dimension of poverty government as well as cooperative societies effort in alleviating poverty will be examined.

This research work is of great significance to the area under study because the group and individual member of the society or the area under study will morally and mentally benefit from the knowledge’s and information, which this study will make available for continuous enlightenment. So as to remain conscious and enlightened for greater participation in the cooperative movement.   

1.6       RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1.   Do cooperative societies enhance the living standard of its bonafide members?

2.   Could Low enrolment of Individuals lead to failure of cooperative society?

3.   What is the extend of people involvement in cooperative particularly the working class?

4.   What are the basic economic activities being carried out by cooperative to alleviate poverty?  


1.7       SCOPE OF THE STUDY

Since the subject matter is based on an assessment of the role of cooperatives in poverty alleviation. It has to be focused from different angles with references to the provision of basic minimum wages, improving economic programs.

This research work will examine the role and the extend to which the society is economically helping the members towards enhancing their socio – economic well being. Provision of basic education and general implementation/improving the living standards of the population.

The researcher have to limit the sizeable level where justice can be seen to have been done to the topic of study since a list of time will be needed to do an extensive research on a topic of this nature coupled with the attended cost.

1.8       OPERATIONAL DEFINATION OF TERMINOLOGIES    

v COOPERATIVE: An association of individuals united voluntarily to meet their economic, cultural, social needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprises.

v POVERTY: Aluwalia (1973) “Defines Poverty by the number of people living below a specified minimum level of income an imaginary poverty line knows nationals boundaries and is independent of the level of national per capital income. However, it magnitude may be much less in terms of total number or percentage of the total populations”

v ALLEVIATION: This as a term in this research work means the reduction or lessening and elimination of any factors that leads to poverty and deprivation among the populace so as to increase their income level.

v MEMBERS: These are persons who are fully registered in the society and who have completed all the necessary registration process.

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